Monday, June 22, 2009

THE UNCUT. One hundred percent volume.

[photo swiped from here (points to because nikon swiped from here (points to empty hands) ]

It's Sunday. no. it's Monday. No. it's...

Anyone seen my hangover?

I’m sure I left it here somewhere. I remember someone pretty and witty preaching the wonders of whiskey at four am. Best drink, good for you, blah. I agree it keeps you clever when you’re canned. (or at least, you think it does) and it warms your throat so you can’t feel your flu. True (or if it’s real cheap, it burns so bad, it leaves you hollow)... But after a day in bed with bright eyes and an itchy nose, throwing back a few shots of Jameson didn’t seem like a wise move. Did it anyway. Like a zealot at mass. Logic? Something about antibacterial, and anyway, many a good night started with a bad idea. And a band. But maybe that’s just me.

Not that I’m any different. Everyone wants to be cheered up and half the city was in bed with seasonal sniffles and grumps on Saturday. But I got up, got dressed and got down to Taxi Violence’s relaunch. Why a relaunch? you’re thinking. Why am I not still in bed with Selaelo Selota? I’m thinking. It had everything to do with loyalty and love, I guess, though by the breath of fate, both of those have changed their meaning to most people associated with the band. But don’t listen to me, I’m drunk, and I’ve misplaced my headache, and a large part of the conversations that continued after the music had had enough of us.

So there we were exchanging toddy fluids, upping the ante at the Ass, downing the shots. What’s that hedgy phrase again? Self medication. Which is what I do when I can’t get no.

Enter The Uncut. A Jozi band, one Taxi Violence’s drummer Louis loves, and one I hadn’t heard of because the two cities don’t seem to speak much. (PRESS HERE if you’re an independent Jozi band coming to Cape Town). Ohmymy. Ohhellyeah. Ohmynikon. No, no, wait. No Nikon. But lots of photo moments that flash in my memory, lots of leaping around. A real presence, sweat splitting the smoky air, raw personality ripping through the riffs. A bassist singing lead. A guitarist feigning detachment. Another guitarist acting like a rabid animal (a cute one, according to the encouraging catcalls from the crowd). And again, an animated drummer in the dark. How many faces did that front man pull? He’s like Jagger on gummiberry juice. A theatre in one body. And the music. Uncanny - I’d been listening to The Rubber Factory (2004) before I got there and it felt like The Uncut had been, too. Only it didn’t get them out of bed and down to the bar, it got into their music. The Black Keys’ garage blues rock is a brand of its own, and no fledgling original SA band deserves comparison, but it must be said (because I’m a fan of both) something similar resonates through the former’s bass driven finery and the latter’s energetic, indie pop rock compositions. Since seeing Nice, and now the Uncut, and Rus Nerwhich and The Collective Imagination, I believe if you can make em dance, you can make em happy. On a note of etiquette, Kudos to the front man for punting Taxi’s relaunch to the crowd between songs, and hyping them up for the main act. Great to see sincere support from a support act.

You were asking about Taxi’s relaunch? Untie yourself again, I guess. In aid of fans. They’ve finally printed more copies of their debut album which has been sold out for a while. A second album is on its way very shortly. Taxi tore the night, all right. Coy George finally got what was coming to him when some buxom babe jumped on stage, planted a wet one on his cheek, flashed her assets at him (she had them from tip to toe) grinning naughtily and then gave herself to the crowd. Being a professional, he didn’t miss a beat, but he blinked, bless him, he blinked. There’s something to be said for the sweet synergy of Taxi’s emerging sound – stronger, more complex, yet ever the melody makers. Strangely enough, I think it’s the crowd getting a bit soft at the edges – for once I didn’t feel like my life was in danger at the centre of the mosh pit. But maybe that’s because I was armed (or, um, heeled) with slicesharp stilettos. What can I say; dressing to kill is a woman’s vocation. You have to protect yourself out there in the fray. Speaking of girls, if Rian’s hair gets any longer (and his playing any better), I am not going to be able to call them boys at all. And Louis. With his locks escaping. Could more emotion move through one man in one sitting? It’s not just the energy of the playing you see in the lurch and arch of his body; it’s the message in the music. Whether hanging his head during a hot, heavy pause or cutting the air with two thin sticks, he is the music. In all, a powerful catharsis for everyone in the room. Thank you, Taxi.

Now. The unmarked grave of Mama Know Nothing has truncated my Wishlist, but the unannounced arrival of The Uncut has extended it:

one night I want four Pretty blue guns, The Uncut, and Taxi Violence in that order.

I can die happy then.

Ah. There it is. (my hangover). Shit.

Friday, June 5, 2009

sing it

if the voice were more widely recognised as an instrument, would that annoying label, 'singer/songwriter' be replaced by the more encompassing 'musician'?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

you two look so good together

Contrary to the claims (or, denials, rather) of alcoholics and addicts at large, it’s not a clean line or a dirty cocktail that lights the night.

Especially when the creeping cold glues us to our couches. And even though Cape Town has come home from the contentious and much coveted SAMAs  with no less than a dozen of them for the Mother city mantelpiece, fireplaces and feather duvets have suddenly become hot property (quite literally).  So despite a slightly more dashing public image, live local music may have to work a little more cleverly to get attention this season, rather than harder. (It’s hard enough, after all, to get a good song circulating beyond a Facebook fan page player.)

A good gig takes a good band; but a great gig takes a great combination. Get the setting, the sound and the souls right, and you have a great night on your hands. If your heart is holed up like most people’s hearths were until last week, try a little pairing up this season. I’m talking musical coupling, yeah? Sorry to say, but co-dependency isn’t healthy any other way.

This Friday while the faithful walk to their holy houses in the rain, and the unfaithful walk to their unholy houses in the rain, Cape Town is cutting it clean with some of the finest combinations since Lindt got balls. Take a sniff of

Joshua Grierson and Mr. Cat And The Jackal – @Dorp Straat Teater. heart strains and pirate stains tumbling over each other unapologetically.  (Bonus - the venue is as quaint and cosy as its performers are not).

 The Sleepers and Foto Na Dans @ ZULA. Dark rock and arte rock to revive the listless and ground the restless. Think contemplative and incendiary. Think sirens and soul mates. Think Le-Roi and Sy (see pic above) No, don’t think. You won’t need to.  

 And if you’re just in it for the party, and you like it in the Ass   (embly), you’re still in the right city. Pull in (ahem) to Our petal ploys (ag, boys), Magic of Pegasus  - who may or may not be taking the piss (watch this space)  .  As Friday unfurls, they will pull on their spandex and flex their skinny screams to deliver you a bubble bath of pseudo-electro cum glam cock sexiness (or is that pseudo-sexiness? Or Speedo testiness? You’ll never know if you don’t get down there. ahemagain). Next to their cotton candy tonguing cheekiness, bruise your heartbeats on the muddy cuts and cutting chords of Tigerstrike - electro energy; analogue emotion. Even if you don’t like it, you’ll probably dance to it.

Sadly, most of us now know that Nothing is no more. Mama Know Nothing, yes? No.  The untimely undoing of the city’s best looking (there, I finally said it) folk-funk-blues-babes (the boys too), means that there is one hot coupling that won’t happen. Ever.  I wanted guns and mamas, pretty nothings, swinging blues, slow bleeding fusion. But no, all we have to look forward to now is the official release of the dirty post mortem. There’s a story behind it, of course, and I’ll be telling my version of it shortly. But beauty (and brilliant shooting) aside,  substitutes will never suffice the real thing, so I guess I’m just going to have to get over becoming an aural orphan of the Mamas, and keep gunning for the Guns. (Speaking of which, have you joined the union yet?) That’s hotstix ma’Lucas’s not-so-little side project.  Listen a little here , you might like it.

It's sobering that in the midst of mourning, the music goes on. We’ve lost the lovelies, but they’ll come up with a new combination, no doubt. We’re still very lucky to be complaining about some of the sorts of couplings that come about on a Friday night, even if other ones disintegrate like powder.


ma se pegasus

Are they taking the piss, or do they just want you to kiss their ass? Electro-introspectro detectives, The Magic of Pegasus are prettier than pearls (er, girls) and they won’t kiss and tell. That is, unless jezebel can trick them into revealing what kind of act they really are…

watch this space...