Commerce keeps pulsing, like the dopamine fiend jerking off in front of internet porn..the worlds servers shreiking and whimpering and blood soaked, just beneath the surface is your very own chancre-blistered amphetaministic hit. We couldn't stop even if we wanted to. Keep the city of London happy, keep feeding upstream, Don my boy!
Even if we patently dislike what we're doing, we cant stop. Money. It's all that. And more.
..So 'twas a gig, this time not beholden to the money-vacuum that is the entertainment venue (Venues are usually a tax write-off. In my gigging experience a venue is usually set up to pay everyone except the musicians who provide the evening's entertainment (and entertainment in Melbourne is a tight-ship - clock in-clock off-go-home-shut-up-fuck-off) - there's all these others who demand the first cut like the in-house sound-man and the in-house door-person and the in-house booking agent and the in-house promoter and the in-house media consultant and the in-house private security firm (back after a stint in afghanistan) and the in-house mafia cut etc etc)
So here we were locked in down the underground bunker buster fad-gadget over the road from the central entrance to the intellectual corporate called Melbourne university. 'Twas a lodge for artists, a multi-roomed space called 'Good Time Studios'. Could this chilled concrete box conjure up good times? I guess its up to the performance artist to define it. Innit. A good time to a Broadmeadows crime family perhaps ain't the good time of a gaggle of hyper-stylized Collingwood art directors. I guess not. Relativism is Lord and you just can't please everyone. We gigged there and it worked. We gagged there and were ejected. What a swag of attendees! Some came to brey and gaffaw at the latest incarnation of The Aesthetics, others came to lend filial support unto the Zond and others were compelled to sample the chic industro-synth-pop that-is Stations.
First up was indeed Stations, I guess a new outfit round Melbourne (?) , I decoded the odd lyric through the haze : ' I'm 24 ' was one chorus starter. Such self-conciousness regarding age as it relates to performance/poetics is poignant - its that generation - perhaps just finishing university, maybe wrenching out the last gasps of an extended gap year, that generation -- the peak age -- twenty four..that particular generation..9/11 a dream from the first years of high school, pcs installed with windows '95 a remote trace from infancy....that generation..for whom grunge and industrial and alternative music generally has become a spectre of the ages. The generation that seemingly has countered counter culture - so, for me - its heart warming to witness a band like Stations as they blast out ascerbic and chic synth-goth. Now there are some people who haven't joined the ranks of the 'new conservative' youth movement thats ever so anti-fashion ...(you know... the stolid faced righteous kids who ain't afraid to make the hard decisions and suck it up and face the front and get real and cheer when Abbot refers to Aussies as 'lifters, not leaners'). It sounded like Stations were shedding older material and premiering newer stuff - refining and trialling work - synthesizer riff driven post-punk rock, brian eno meets husker du meets le tigre. Other songs danced around a single motif - a solemn spaced out ebm atmosphere. Others were based around vocal delivery. I only hope that others of Stations generation keep the synth-punk torch burning so as to provide a counterpoint to that nasty breed of new patriot conservative kids we read about. Sorry visual thinkers - no image to insert here.
Concrete performance space warms as DJ Artless denies cow-cocky up-bringing by spinning (no discs were involved --shall we say I used the phone ) a wack of avant-kack bled from the mutant sounds repository..
And then Zond. what more can say about Zond - there's is a force of nature - a vicious and magnificient wall of sound - punishingly loud, you wouldn't miss em thats for sure. Marnies signature tenor punched holes, Justin's guitar amp an industrial grade sound assault...maybe that set was a little loud - being an on stage mix the drums which are usually mic'd to the hilt were lost in the din. They whipped out some new songs which was great, no-ones resting on their laurels there.
A little LSD Fundraiser was evoked by the mysterious dj artless and then...the new Aesthetics hit. New drummer in the form of Jeremy Corborough - drummer for Wellingtons Orchestra of Spheres, techno-rave authority, crack technical writer and workplace safety poet. And the band is ever so slightly dancified. Just slightly. All Electric a 4-to-the-floor funkster. Doomtown Fuzz a heavy dance slap-dash. A disco-ized swirl. Some danced, some snogged. Some snorted, some grimaced. All the hits - again. Melbourne hasn't quite smelled a rat - yet....but some ex-pat kiwis have - and they urged us to lyricize more contemporary themes ( eg work, working, work stories, work and mate-ship, work hours, workers, work-ethic, bosses, supervisers, colleagues, the moneyed-classes, the melbourne music mafia etc).to offerup some new bloody songs for chrissakes. and bang on. How bout a new Aesthetics record. That'll work. That'll work 40 hrs a week. Neo-liberals.
They have a smorgasboard of pseudo-pragmatic 'pearls' for us. 'Wisdom'. Inject a bit of classical Thatcherism into their arsenal and voila! - our inability to get ahead is purely a personal failing. It's a moral thing - an individual choice. A bad choice we all made. Our poverty nothing at all to do with rampant worldwide world-bank structural adjustment and the misanthropic neo-liberal orgy we call the banks/wall street. Nothing to do with the cretinous institution the bible labelled usury. Nothing at all.
And when i think now of my own death, I actually think, yes! Goodbye! The relief! Goodbye to the lies, struggles, the purulent bombast that is world media; vile networks proselytising the virtues pain, torture, rape, machinisation,slavery, atrophy, manipluation, exploitation, fear, and our pet fave - corruption. Kick it back my man! I didn't see nothin'. What body? What deal? What hotel room?
I'm supposed to feel like a scumbag for not topping up my myki card, or for not washing a coffee stain off my shirt-front. All the while the real scum are to be found at the racecourse down the way -
'skanky', 'munted', tasteless, fakers all, dealers in death, polluters, collaborators, racists intoxicated beyond all recognition, eyeliner running, sweating, heaving, high heels galloping down Mount Alexander Road, bra straps slackened off, a drawling hysteria, curse words belted out with a screeching timbre close to that of the cockatoo, fluttering flailing fascists.
Big money mate. Money mates, making money, eaters, wife beaters, coders, loaders, penal zoners.
Life off - made maggot - mafia magistrate - day-to-day - hand-2-mouth - 3 gargoyles and a drunk kracken at the table, getting loose, getting high. Mountains. Hull, lackey, braggard.
Nevermore. Oh fable. Harry. Metal-edge. Breaking up is hard to do, you know it. He's the weekend bikie. He's the kingmaker. He's the culture lord, the large, powerful, moneyed merchant.
Dribbling truths, banging heads, shutting down parties, gatherings, clubs. Single file. Rediculous laws. Conspicuous flaws.