Friday, March 07, 2008

Australian Part Three: Perth...

In the morning make the flight from Melbourne to Perth. I eat lasagna from a sub-Sbarro type pizza joint and get a donut with bright yellow pineapple frosting on it.

Holy shit. Are there pineapple donuts in America? How come I'm just finding out about these now? I want to eat fifty more of these all at once and smear the saturated sucrose slop all over my face like war paint for carbohydrate combat.

While waiting at the gate the entire Australian cricket team walked right past us. I was somewhat dumfounded…I'm not one to usually care about such celebrity, but these were the guys I were watching on TV just the day before! How-fucking-badass! Someone later told me that the Aussie national team is easily the best cricket team in the world and I'm still impressed by that.

Flight was painless. Watched a bit of "Superbad" and am curious as to when the first time someone ever got a hand-job in cargo shorts. The movie perfectly captures those desperate teenage nights of yore. It feels lame and cliché to attach one's personal memories to a pop culture rendering of such, but I do not hesitate to say that "Superbad" feels like a long-mythologized high school night I'd lived.

I'd accidentally left my noise-canceling headphones on when I last used them so the batteries had been welched of their juice. When I clicked the switch to the "on" position, the noise-canceling technology turned into noise generating technology. I'm not kidding when I say that it sounded like a Wolf Eyes concert in my headphones. It was killer….way cooler than can really be conveyed here. And by putting pressure on different parts of the phones, tapping them, rotating them, I could vaguely affect/control the noise and get reactions from it. As far as I'm concerned, I now own the coolest pair of headphones in the world and as soon as I get home I'm running a line out from these suckers and putting out a lathe-cut cassette on Hanson Records.

Perth was bright and sunshiney when we arrived. Our local promoter Pex picked us up from the airport and shuttled us straight to the hotel. Once checked in, we had a couple hours to explore the town. Mick, Pat and I ventured to Dada Records first, where I bought an old issue of Mojo. We stopped for some ice cream, slowly snaked in and out of random shops lining the main downtown pedestrian mall and got to the store 78 Records about 30 seconds after closing time.

Seemed like most of the cool shit in town closed at 5pm on Saturday. I don't know why that is, nor do I agree with it, but it surely left us with not much else to do before lobby call at 6:30.

The club, the Amplifier Bar, was easy walking distance from the hotel, which was nice.
I contently hummed the Victims' songs to myself while making way down the Perthian streets. Hands down, my favorite punk band and ambling down their hometown avenues makes the tunes all the more present and real to me. The same thing with Franz Ferdinand while walking in Glasgow, Arctic Monkeys and Sheffield and the Ramones in New York.

Soundcheck was easy, I played a decent chrome finished kit. Afterwards, we stewed in the humid basement dressing room and wasted time. I would sleep through most of the opening act's set, only remembering the first band sounded like JSBX and ended with a cover of Dead Moon's "Fifty-Four Forty or Fight" and made me realize how killer it is to take a 19th century presidential campaign slogan and turn it into the chorus for a biker punk song in the 1990's. Fred Cole wins for life. All my love to anyone who can top him with something framed around "I like Ike."

I walked up the street to get a doner kebab. Big mistake. It would attack my insides right before we walked onstage, barely giving me enough time to make it to the bog. While a righteous delicacy I first enjoyed in Glasgow back in 2001, it may be time for Benny to turn in his kebab klub kard and start being a little more conscious about my tour food. I just don't have the patience to deal with feeling like shit on the road anymore.

We played what we consider our "old" set as we'd never played Perth before. So begin with "Start the Party" then "Get it While You Can" into "Underdog" followed by "Ode to a Black Man" and then slowly introducing stuff from the new album. Kick pedal I had was giving me shit within 30 seconds of "Start the Party". Ugh. Problems with random drum kits on tour never actually stem from the drums, it's actually always a problem of hardware. Luckily there was an extra kick pedal laying around so I swapped it out and things (for the most part) were alright from there.

Encore ended with me hanging the rack tom from the ceiling and yelling "Perth is a Culture Shock!" into the microphone a dozen times before a Chris Rock mic drop and a quick shuffle off the stage.

Immediately after our set the club really fills up as it's DJ dance club time. All sorts of young drunk fashion victims looking for a Saturday night triumph. The song selection is impeccable…Yeah Yeahs Yeahs, Beck, the Walkmen… and the kids are dancing like it's the end of the world. I wonder if such a peculiarity could happen in America?

Go back downstairs and fall asleep. Walk back to the hotel, watch Dirty Jobs, get an internet password, check email for the first time in a few days and stay up later than I should've.

6am lobby call and onward to the Perth airport to make our way to Adelaide. Walked directly to the ticketing counter with absolutely no line. Checked in with no hassle. Slid through security with the greatest of ease. Total time to get from curb to gate: approximately 8 minutes. Now THIS is what I'm talking about. I love me some Aussie airports. Overhear a vicious looking guy at pay phone placing a collect call…

"Yeah you fucking accept the charges, it'll take me six months to pay you back arsehole. Aw, don't give me any bullshit, I'll fucking kick you in the fucking face you fucking cunt. So are you going to pick me up from the airport or not? Fuck You."


Anonymous said...

I really enjoy the Tremble updates. Always interesting and usually lead to one or two internet searches for bands/labels and inevitably a new discovery of something interesting.

Like Lord Reith and his vision of the BBC "to inform, educate and entertain".

thank you.

Anonymous said...

This is such a gem!!
Thanks, hope you had a great trip!
More from the road!

Laurie said...

You Can Write.
Of course you must know this. Someone at the mentioned you had a blog so I took a look and have enjoyed every minute.

I love your sense of humor; your travel writings are a hoot, but with enough detail to bring your reader there, too. I have some very fond memories of meandering the streets of Manhattan a few years back in the winter, my then Walkman playing a Leonard Cohen mix cd: "it's four in the morning, the end of December..." It is like creating your own little bubble being in a strange place, your own soundtrack playing in your ears. Anyways, something you wrote here took me back...

Keep writing!!