Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Australia Part Four: What For?

Adelaide hotel was situated near some local cancer treatment center. End result is the other lodging occupants were a weird and scary crowd of folks who appeared to live there. At the hotel. And we were there for less than 18 hours. As if traipsing across their metaphorical lawn to just to get a peak before hopping away in scared glee.

There was the guy with no nose. And the lady who sat at her little outdoor table smoking cigarettes and drinking champagne for at LEAST seven straight hours…alone. And the swimming pool that was tempting, but ultimately too small (and vaguely inappropriate to enter) with other people already frolicking giving me the evil eye.

So despite the sunshiney goodness the Lord had bestowed, I stayed in and watched a shitload of cricket. Hours worth. What a brilliant way to kill a Sunday afternoon.

Had mom back home call the phone company to unlock the cell phone so now $1.20 a minute phone calls are all for the taking. Most memorable part about the club was their fruity gay mixed drinks named after rock stars. I had the Slick Rick (tasted like lemonade) while Mick had the Herbie Hancock, Ko the Frank Zappa, Troy the Debbie Harry and Pantano the Iggy Pop. I spilled half of mine on my leg. It was awesome.

Ate splendid Asian cuisine with the entire band before the show. I like a band meal. It becomes a great time to share stories with our local hosts, promoters, etc and more often than not the grub is worthwhile. Asian food in Australia is pretty solid too and I think we were all glad with the gourmet.

I slept during the opening bands. Used a chrome-finish Pearl Export kit. Can't remember much else…shows seem to blur together more and more lately.

Back to the hotel, early-ass lobby call (it was still dark out) and back to Melbourne. Day off would check us in to a comfy Comfort Inn that reminded me of Melrose Place even though I have never seen an episode of that show.

Promoters Daniel and James would take me around for the intense record shopping on this day. First stop was Licorice Pie. Great vinyl selection. Two copies of the Kelley Stoltz Aussie tour 7" still available for $10 a pop. I bought a Los Huevos 7" (thinking I could find someone who really needs it), a Magnitude 3 single (because it's on Goner) and a single by Yeah Yeah Noh. Wary of its origin, I passed on the Grateful Dead single on Scorpio at $50. While the idea of flipping it for another couple hundred bucks if it were the real deal was appealing, the thought of being stuck with a shitty Grateful Dead single that's not even original was far too hard to stomach.

From there on to Vicious Sloth. What an establishment! Catering to the intense collectorate, they had quite the impressive selection of hard-to-find Aussie stuff and were quick to play anything I cared to hear. Contemplated records by Razar, Bodhan X, Tch-Tch-Tch (usually written as three arrows all pointing different directions and probably the first band to implement such a premise a good 20 years before !!! was known as Chik-Chik-Chik) but in the end settled on an Aussie Dusty Springfield pic sleeve for "I Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself" coupled with CD's of the Coloured Balls Ball Power and the Aussie post-punk comp Can't Stop It Part II. These were kinda sympathy buys as I spent a lot of time in the store and it would have been in bad form to not leave with just a little something.

Conversation at Vicious Sloth was fun and engaging, but with record collector types it always seems like you've got to draw them out a bit, make them feel a bit comfortable. So instead of just blurting out "What's the rarest record you have?" you kinda dance around the topic, ask what they collect, sniff their butt a bit, drop a few hints, see where they're coming from before you really get into the thick of it.

So I dropped references to my Keggs single, he shot back with his Sex Pistols on A&M, we geeked on the Stooges, I told them the story of the Death recordings and I think we'd finally reached parity when he pulled his copy of the Brain Police LP complete with original mailer and insert. Good times.

With a substantial collection of Beatles stuff I had to inquire about an item high atop my wantlist at the moment: Communism, Hypnotism and the Beatles by David Noebel is a classic Bible Belt tract from the late 60's espousing the evils of that Liverpool band that wouldn't shut up about "love." Bangs mentions it in one of the pieces included in Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung and having actually looked through one I can say the shit is bananas. Will pay or trade handsomely for one.

From there had another classy Thai meal and then back to Missing Link. I picked up some good Japrock inspired by Julian Cope's recent book that I can't get enough of…shit like Les Razilles Denudes and the Flower Travellin' Band cd's. I got a handful of 7"s too…junk I'd mentioned in regards to my first trip there earlier in the week as well as a bootleg Green River 7" that I think was called Dude Party.

Back to the hotel for a hot minute before meeting up with the dudes from Rocket Science and just cold chilling with them. It was a relaxed vibe at a bar where they're regulars. It was nice catching up with conversations. We moved to a back room for a meal and I went adventurous and ordered the kangaroo.

Roo meat was fine…not as gamey as others had made it out to be, but coupled with some hearty potatoes and a spicy glaze accompaniment and it was delicious and worth the risk.

Slept like a rock that night as I was easily only operating on no more than an hour and a half sleep from Adelaide.

PBS radio session the next morn was perfunctory. We've done two of these before, so were familiar with the process and rigmarole. We tried to pick a nice cross-section of "hits" coupled with songs we'd usually not get the chance to play, so, we did "Ever Lovin Man", "La Fin du Monde", "Politicians in My Eyes", "Fire in the Western World" and "I Heard Her Call My Name" into a weird droney thing based on a drum beat from They Were Wrong, So We Drowned with Mick singing lines from "Phantoms in a Lesser-Crystalline Sphere."

From there we drove to Geelong. I know nothing of note about or from this town. After soundcheck we again had a brilliant band meal at an Asian place down the street from the club. Band meals have been coupled with lots of laughs and good vibes lately and that is irreplaceable quality time.

The toilet paper in the band bathroom was single sheets in a box. They needed to be grabbed one at a time and I'm not exaggerating when I say they had the consistency of wax paper. Interestingly enough, the TP actually performed its job quite well.

Opening band was the Frowning Clouds and while I can't stand that name, these little pubes knew how to bring it. They did a perfect recreation of Larry and the Blue Notes "Night of the Phantom" where the lead singer nailed that pseudo-snarl from the original while shaking his tambourine perfectly.

The boys were clearly indebted to Back from the Grave, even down to the singer's striped sweater, scarf (in the middle of summer) and what I'm imagining must've been beetle boots. Guitar player had a homemade Velvet Underground shirt on. Bass player and drummer both appeared like odd men out, just along for the ride, maybe not too into the whole "Sixties" thing, but moreso just into the idea of being in a band.

They rocked hard with a take on the Birds version of Bo Diddley's monster "You Don't Love Me (You Don't Care)" that they may or may not have known the tune was covered with saintly reverence by the Gories. And just like the Gories, the Frowning Clouds had two people in the band who could each blow a mean harmonica.

"You Don't Love Me" segued straight into a song I imagine is called "Jungle King". Totally ripping of Diddley's "Pretty Thing" with a perfect lyric "The city ain't my thing"

Overall, with their questionable tuning, 60's togs, adherence to the doctrine set forth by BFTG and clearly no fear in changing a few lyrics to a song and calling it their own, the Frowning Clouds remind me very much of the Gories.

Rocket Science were next and they were entertaining. It'd been 4 years since I'd last seen them live (and even guested on theremin for a song). The new stuff was alright, but I really got into the stuff I've known for awhile, songs they were playing while touring with us back in 2003. And when they jammed on "Copycat" with Hendrix-like fervor to end their set, it was bliss.

I played Kit's (from Rocket Science) kit metallic mango-colored Rogers drums with a huge bass drum and perfect rack tom. Would be the first show we opened with "Leopard Man at C&A" (my idea) and wouldn't you know the floor tom immediately begins to fall as soon as I start to pound out the beat. Luckily promoter Daniel was quick to the stage to remedy the situation.

I would end up with some mean blisters on my left hand from drumming that night. My ride cymbal started showing a crack during our first show and it's becoming more and more prominent every night. "Need You Tonight" keeps getting better reception from the crowds.


Anonymous said...

My chart of Australia Tour Diary entries:

1. Part 2
2. Part 4
3. Part 3
4. Part 1

FLOWER TRAVELLIN' BAND is Rockin' Treasure. said...

FLOWER TRAVELLIN' BAND came back from a trip!


New Year World Rock Festival 2008

FlowerTravellin'Band “We are here” in REVIVAL

15,Dec:(After Reunion ; the first Canada tour!)
MC:Dj-Larry Green!
The Action Mob