shake that cola drag

The office-block persecution affinity.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Ahhhhh, the inevitable yearly Big Day Out report. I might even have been too lazy to bother writing this but a) Rachael shamed me with her thorough and speedy lj post and b) I am so irritated by the shitty-assed quality of the Herald's BDO diarists (oh yes, good choice, those two are terribly *incisive*. And one of them, soberly and reverently, liked *Hatebreed*. Jesus Christ on a bike, mainstream music journalism in this country is so... problematic, she says politely) that I feel compelled to show these people how it's done. For free. On a blog that nobody reads. Yeah, somehow I took a wrong turn with my life, didn't I?

OK, we'll get back to my existential crisis later. I think we should first concentrate on the walking-frame I'm going to need for next year's BDO, because I am approximately 358 years older than 95% of the attendees, all of whom are apparently very angry with, um, somethingorother, and wanted Slipknot and System of a Down to articulate that anger with the appropriate flailing, shredding, growling, yowling, and pontificating. Actually Slipknot's show was kind of humourous, I must say: there's something about two thwacking drumkits and consistent windmill-hair that's always going to be a fun spectacle. System of a Down, however, inspired more anger within me than could be contained. Ohhhh, the whining, ohhhhh, the simplistic anti-authoritarian bullshit, ohhhhh, the embarrassingly stupid between-song banter. Yes, yes, everyone is a pawn to the man and corporate rock sucks and then, I kid you not, they plugged their new album. It was too much to be borne. I had to flip them off from my spot far back in the stands, or I would have imploded. Rach texted to a friend that 'SoaD suck the biggest fattest cock of all time ever' and I can't really say it better than that.

It seems appropriate to segue to a highlight from a lowlight, and from shittily articulated onstage whining to finely honed fun dance-politics, by saying that Le Tigre totally kicked my ass. And I was all planning on seeing the Hives at the other stage (yes, nice work BDO organisers, put two international acts on at *exactly the same time*) because how often are you going to see a group of people wearing spats? But the sweet wee set from The Phoenix Foundation had me in a warm and mellow mood by the smaller Essential Stage, and Le Tigre's entrance was so arresting and their show was so much fun and their songs were so danceable - and hey, you *never* get to hear people call themselves feminists in public any more! Solidarity, sisters - that Brent and Rach and I couldn't move. Besides, Jack Black was watching from backstage! So yeah, their set made me turn from a mild 'well-disposed toward them, haven't heard much' into a real fan in 45 minutes. Good work, girls.

The other real highlight was, of course, the 24?-strong Polyphonic Spree, who played the Boiler Room and managed to create a full-fledged tent revivalist atmosphere amongst the sweaty shirtless folk who had spent an hour frugging to Concord Dawn. The whole wide-eyed wonder thing is done more warmly and weirdly by the Flaming Lips, of course, but the great thing about the Spree was that their joyousness, while wonderful and inclusive, was also incredibly creepy. Their songs are amazingly long, their robes are all Jesus Christ Superstar, and they raise their hands in the air while singing like charismatic Christians. There's a lot of staring and smiling intensely upwards and quiet/loud/quiet dynamics to the music, all of which make you feel like you've been indoctrinated into a cult. This is an odd reaction to describe, but it felt great feeling uncomfortable with how much I enjoyed their set. Bring out the spiked orange juice, dudes. I'm ready.

Brief notes: the Donnas sang a Maori song they learned in primary school! Their accents were terrible; the Beastie Boys filled the 'awwww, I'm old and I remember all your lyrics from back in the day' slot previously held by Jane's Addiction, with some fine giant screens added to the mix; Money Mark got *fucked* by boiler-room soundbleed on the hip-hop stage (he plays quiet wee *pop* songs solo, you dumbass organisers); Dei Hamo were hilarious and appealing, but the Misfits of Science really brought it and their dj was great; Kid Koala is a delightful turntablist who made me bop around to a Tears for Fears instrumental breakdown and a scratch-happy Louis Armstrong tribute; and the Chems are in sad decline, and I didn't have any drugs to make them good again.

OK, peace out.


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