Friday, September 28, 2007

My Burning Heart

Just heard a song on the radio where the guy was going on about how much his heart was burning for someone. I was sure I heard in the chorus the words:

My heart burns for you,
Can't get no insurance for my heart.

Upon listening closely I found I'd misheard. Pity.

It reminded me that I never did get around to posting the lyrics of my song for Meow Meow. In the song... it's all a bit twisted up really because although the song would be sung by the performer, it's sung from the point of view of her besotted admirer who is articulating the indifference or even contempt the singer feels for the admirer. (I think there's a bit of sado masochism going on in there somewhere).

So. The lyrics themselves are pretty Goddamned silly, and the entire concept and structure just doesn't make any sense, so my way of making more sense of it was to have Meow Meow herself sing the song while looking into a mirror... because to fully make sense the song would have to be sung by someone other than the singer herself. That she is singing a love song to herself is perfectly in keeping with her character, as anyone who has had the pleasure of seeing her perform will appreciate. But that it is a crooning song of loathing... no sense at all.

The imagined "no insurance for my heart line" reminded me of these couple of verses from Comatose With Desire...

My unrequited lust for you,
Has crushed my heart, it’s true,
And another vital organ or two,
And left me comatose with desire.

Comatose with desire,
Comatose with desire,
You make me
Comatose with desire.

I am a peaceful village,
That you rape and pillage,
My heart buuuuurns for you... because you set it on fire,
I am comatose with desire.

If enough of you tell me you think these are some of the most retarded song lyrics you've read and that you want more, I might consider finally posting the whole silly thing. Sending money will help the cause.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Mighty Thor Fucks Up A Bit. In The Post Office. Innit.

The queue in the post office reaches from the counter back to the entry door, then veers sharply to the left and back down until it almost reaches the counter again. Some days it goes to the right. It has a mind of its own.

I join the end of the queue and spend a thousand years waiting and shuffling forward. It is not the most fun I've ever had.

As I get to the bendy bit and turn back towards the counter just in time to celebrate my 76th birthday, a lady who is actually about 76 casually merges. She just kind of appears and then is part of the queue. We are standing side by side, but I am not in the mood for letting little old ladies push in front of me, no matter how crinkly the corners of their eyes are or how kindly they appear. I step forward and make it clear that in such situations, I am the entirely wrong man to meddle with. Quite simply, you do not want to fuck me around. Bitch.

For a while I am content with the situation because I have not lost my place in the queue and if anyone further back in the line feels an injustice has been done, it is up to them to sort things out. It's a dog eat dog world. Every man for himself. There ain't no Superman or Batman or Thor or Wonderwoman. Just the way it is.

But then I do what I should almost never do - I think to myself, "What would Thor do if he were standing in a post office queue and an old lady cut in and queue jumped?"

He would stand up for the little people, is the answer. So.

I turn on this old woman with her endearingly crinkly eyes and her powdery scent as she acts so innocent and grandmotherly and I say to her, "You do realise you've just cut in on all these other people, don't you."


"The queue," I tell her. "It goes all the way over there and turns and goes all the way down there. You've cut in front of all those people."

"No I didn't. I wouldn't do that."

Right now I am pretty sure Thor would be donging this selfish old bitch over the head with his hammer, but I am a more reasonable superhero than that - even if my intolerance of injustice dwarfs that of all superheroes combined. I glance down the line and see that the entire queue's population is watching my defense against this heinous wrong-doing.

"I just saw you push in - "

Hell Granny says nothing because a chorus of others leap to her defense and tell me, "No, she didn't push in. She's fine. She was standing there all along. You just didn't see her. You were a million miles away off in your own little world like you always are, Lee."

The entire fucking queue is nodding its support.

I'm not sure what Thor would do in such a situation, but I apologise profusely and pout and go a bit red in the face and shuffle a lot and wish I was The Invisible Man instead of Thor who is, apparently, a bit of a twat.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Arsedance At Earthdance 2007

I am at a doof. It is a sunny morning. The hill is crowded, but pleasantly so. There are smiles and there is exuberant stomping as the speaker stacks charge the air with thumping, pulsing, squelchy psytrance goodness. The strongest chemical I have had is coffee, so I close my eyes, burrow in and try to find that place in the music... ah yes, there it is, and I am dancing.

Something intrudes on my newly-found hit of daytime bliss. Something soft and round.
I open my eyes and the intrusion is a pair of reasonably yummy buttocks. A girl is moving her arse against me in a very obvious way. She turns to face me, clearly wondering what I thought about that hot piece of action. I look at the girl and smile, my smile clearly saying, “Look, thank you. It’s really very flattering and it’s really a very nice bottom and everything, and on another day or under other more intoxicated circumstances I might do something like, you know, gently take you by the hips and rub up against your sensational arse with my totally awesome pants bulge. But right at this particular point in time I really just want to lose myself in this music.”

No sooner am I back in the music than Arse Girl is at it again. She is lap dancing me in a way that will not be ignored. I open my eyes just as she runs both hands through her hair and does a smoldering hair flick, her sultry over-the-shoulder smirk clearly saying, “Good, huh? Want some? Yeah... you want it.”

This time my smile takes a sterner approach: “Look here. Um – yes, very good. Possibly the best arse grinding action I’ve experienced in half my life. But right now at this point in time all I really really really want to do is dance by myself to this music. Please?”

Her smoldering smile changes. “You prick. What are we all doing here if it’s not to get horny on the dancefloor? What are you – some kind of deviant?”

My smile twitches and says. “Look I just –“

“Fuck you,” her smile tells me. “You selfish prick.”

And she is gone.

I close my eyes and try to block out the memory of her her wiggly bum. I try to find my place inside the music but it just doesn’t work. Because try as I might, I really just don’t get why so many of you women have to think with your vaginas.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Time Out

I've lost all my links because the template went weird on me and the whole thing is giving me the shits. I'll dick about with it at some stage I guess and try to find the blogs I was reading each day, but for now I think it's a sign to take a break. Statcounter flat-lined it for me too. Oh yeah, it's a sign.

Take care. Back later.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

C-90 Review

Gotta go hit the dancefloor at Earthdance while the sun is shining, but first here is a review of a comedy performance I saw last night. Might add more later, but this is the 350ish words the mag allows me. He tours, so keep an eye out for him. Lovely and funny stuff.


Daniel Kitson’s C-90 is an unusual blend of story-telling and stand-up comedy. It’s exactly the kind unexpected performance you expect to see at The Playhouse’s Adventures season. It’s eccentric, it’s off-kilter, it’s funny, warm and snurgy. (Someone had to invent a word to replace quirky, so there you have it).

The Yorkshire comedian takes to the stage and launches immediately into the story of Henry who works in the dusty anachronism of a lost mixtape archive. He is fascinated with the idea of mixtapes, the love and care that has gone into them, the fact that someone has invested so much time and thought creating this unique musical gift for another individual human being. He’s categorised and archived thousands of these lost gems without ever having listened to a single one of them, because he doesn’t care much for music. He receives the first mixtape that has ever been personally addressed to him and a Pandora’s box opens; a strange little place filled with misfit characters unfurls before our ears.

Isolate some sections and you’d swear you were listening to pure stand up comedy with the gags hitting the comic sweet spot with precision timing. Isolate yet others and you were being fed the thoughts and ideas of an old time story teller. Through it all you get the impression that Daniel Kitson spends a lot of time looking around at the peripheral people who populate our world. For example the other main character is the lollipop lady at a school kids’ crossing who left university to become a lollipop lady because she sees it as a good and noble job despite what others think. Like Henry, she is a gorgeous creation, her character a slow moving kaleidoscope of endearing foibles.

In a jagged and cynical world the laughs that performers like Daniel Kitson give to us are to be treasured.

At The Playhouse, Sydney Opera House until 30 September.


What The Fuck Happened To My Blog?

This faggy new look probably shits you almost as much as it does me. What can I say. My old template was taken away for whatever reason and I grabbed this one in haste because I'm buggered if I can be bothered spending any more time tweaking shit than I have to.

Had some funny stuff to share but spent the time instead trying to figure out what happened to the look of this blog.

Earthdance soon. Freedom. Not work. Psytrance. Smiles on a grassy dancefloor. Stompiness.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Earthdance 2007

Here is a short feature about Earthdance as it appears in the current issue of Drum (minus the weird edits someone at the magazine made). The party happens this coming Sunday, simultaneously all over the world. It's a great event that welcomes everyone. It could have been a very straight story, but I chose to have a bit of fun with it.


Live bands, dance music, market stalls and open arms; this is Earthdance 2007. LEE BEMROSE interrupted festival organisor RAF GIMELSTEIN’s breakfast to find out what makes this year’s party different to previous years.


I could start this story like everyone else and talk about how much Earthdance has grown each year, how it was started by Australian Chris Dekker, mention the number and diversity of countries it takes place etc etc, but I’m not going to.

I might mention all that stuff later, but right now what concerns me most is that Earthdance 2007 could well freak out the whales. And we have to ask ourselves: do we really want to deal with the repercussions of a world population of totally freaked out whales? Stay with me here...

At 10am local time on Sunday September 16 The Earthdance Prayer For Peace will take place. At the exact same moment at about 350 locations in more than 50 countries around the world, the same thing will be happening. The simultaneous global Prayer For Peace is at the heart of Earthdance and has been since its inception 10 years ago. However this year there will also be a global Om taking place above the surface of the waters as well as below the waters. The importance water plays in life on Earth is being celebrated with underwater speakers being placed beneath the surface of selected major waterways such as The Ganges, the Nile and the Mississippi and belting out a simultaneous “Ommmmmm...”

Whale 1: “What the hell was that?”
Whale 2: “No idea, but it was freaky. I am so outta here.”

Then again maybe the conversation will go like this:
Whale 1: “What the hell was that?”
Whale 2: “It’s the humans. Global Om. A good thing. Chill, dude, you’re so uptight.”

Depending on how you view things you might think the global Om is kooky or cool. This devout not-morning person attended last year’s prayer for peace and I happen to think it’s pretty cool.


What is also pretty cool is that Earthdance – taking place in Sydney Park in Petersham for the fourth year – is probably the best multi-stage dance party Sydney will see. Last year it pulled an estimated crowd of more than 20,000 punters from all walks of life, and with seven stages featuring live acts and DJs from all genres, Earthdance 2007 is set to be even bigger. And there’s no cover charge. That’s right – it’s free.

However, Festival director Rafael Gimelstein says that we should expect something a little different this year.

“This year we’re really re-designing the whole festival site. This year when you come into the festival you don’t walk into a dance party, you walk into a community festival. There’s live music, a kid’s area... I think this year you’ll see a big change in terms of getting the message out there. This year we’re really working on inviting families... there’s no glass and you can bring your dogs and run barefoot, there are eco-living workshops. We’re really not promoting the festival at all to the dance crowds because they are already aware of the festival. This year it’s about delivering the message to the community. It’s not a dance party as such, it’s a well-behaved community for everyone.”

If you’ve been in the past and danced your nuts off, don’t be put off by the open arms Earthdance is extending to the wider community; there will be lots of dance music, both live and of the DJ kind. The lineup includes Infusion, Rastawookie, Groovelands, Stick Figures, Deepchild, Ken Cloud & Simon Caldwell, Potbelleez, Basskleph and a whole lot more. Genres include rock, electro, reggae, house, techno, drum & bass and – the one that started it all - psytrance.

Earthdance is a charity event, this year raising money for Oasis Youth Support Network. It’s also a great opportunity to get the warm and fuzzies about humanity. Although numbers are down in Sydney during the prayer itself due to the relatively early time of day (elsewhere throughout the world, parties are brought to a stop for the global link up, thus ensuring maximum impact), there will be a reproduction of the link up on big screens at the close of the festival.

Whether or not the global link up during the prayer for peace or the global Om actually achieve anything, it is heartening to pause and realise that all around the world so many human beings are uniting to celebrate the good that we are capable of through music and dance.

Even if it is at the risk of scaring the crap out of the whales.

WHAT: Earthdance Global Dance for Peace.
WHEN & WHERE: Sydney Park, Petersham Sunday 16 September. Also in Perth and Melbourne.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


I have a friend I don't see anymore, may never see again. Life just picks you up and carries you along at a terrifying speed. You go to a few dark and strange places and you realise that anything, quite literally, can happen. You assume the lover you see in the morning will come home again at night. You assume there will always be time to say sorry you had that fight. You assume there will always be another dance, another drink, more laughs to be had. But these assumptions have the substance of clouds. Foolish, foolish assumptions.

So anyway, I have this friend I don't see anymore, may never see again. She's a memory. She's a world away. She's the memory of laughter. She's words on a screen. She's a duck nailed to wooden spoons. She's a penguin. She's a bruise on my arm. She's laughter like a song. She's silly. She's smart. She's got this thing she does with words. When her fingers are lemony, I get things in my eyes.

Do you ever get that? When you read something and it just devastates you with its perfection? A collection of words we all have access to, but this someone has arranged them in such a way that there is a beat, and there is beauty and they've somehow made this perfect wordthing.

This memorybeing does this. She does it so well. And yet she frets about not being a good writer.

Which makes me laugh.

She is my favourite writer.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Oysters Are No Aphrodisiac

Recently while faux chefing at The Big Pointy Building, a very important function was taking place. There was a lull in service while speeches took place. Chefs and kitchen hands milled about restlessly. Head service peole joined us. Hushed chatter, a few stifled laughs.

Guy in a tux walks through our makeshift kitchen area with a glass of wine, obviously on his way outside for a cigarette or something. I recognise him as the frontman of a pretty well-known Australian band. He spots a platter of leftover oysters sitting on a table I am standing next to.

"Do you mind if I have an oyster?" he asks. "I'm one of the guests."

"Sure," I reply. "Help yourself."

This is the entirely wrong thing to say because the head chef has a rock solid policy of no one eating in the kitchen area, aside from chefs who must try the food from time to time. Wait staff - forget it. Guests? Fuck off back to the guests' area to eat. I'm just a little more casual about it all, which is wrong. I always shrug and figure it's food that's going to waste anyway, someone wants an oyster they can have an oyster. But this is wrong because I am only a faux chef, not a real chef and certainly not the Head Chef.

I turn around to ask Famous Singer if he is performing tonight and see that he has settled his glass on the table and is hunched over the oyster platter eating a lot more than an oyster.

Not good.

I then glance over just as the head chef looks up from the food he is putting the finishing touches on and sees Famous Singer eating the oysters - only he doesn't see a famous guy, he just sees some wanker in a suit making a pig of himself and I realise that a total innocent is about to suffer the consequences of my slackness.

"OI!" Head Chef snarls as he crosses the room. He's a pretty big guy. Forceful presence that can ooze menace. "The fuck do you think you're doing? I don't like you coming into my area and eating my food. Fuck off somewhere else to eat food!"

Famous Singer looks like Withnail in that pub scene when the red-neck local is threatening him and 'I' ("I have a heart condition. If you hit me it's murder...").

"I did ask," Famous Singer simpers and the glowering head chef, "but yes of course I'm so sorry."

Later, there is another lull in proceedings, this time for a musical interlude. It's an all too familiar whining voice with piano accompaniment. We're all a bit stir crazy by this time because we just want to get on with the function and get out of there. We're talking in hushed tones again. At one point there is talk of the singer and Head Chef asks who it is.

"That," replies one of the service people in his very dry Scottish accent, "is the man you were so rude to earlier."

Head Chef is amused. He denies that he was rude, says he just didn't want him to eat in this area and invited him to go elsewhere. There is much stifled sniggering because everyone saw exactly what happened and it was pretty damned funny.

"Even funnier," I say, deciding to fess up, "is that he did actually ask. I said yes and five seconds later you're ripping the poor bastard's head off."

From out in the function area Famous Singer gets a round of applause and starts on another song, much to our dismay.

"Fuck me," Head Chef says. "Where's that platter of oysters? Might take it out there now and say 'here, want an oyster now? Lee says you can have one."

It can be such a stressful job, but it does have it's nice little moments too.

Pugilist Specialist Review

I'm just copying and pasting on this blog lately, aren't I. latest review to come out in Drum.


Pugilist Specialist is a fast play. It is very written. Pity that real life conversations are not this rapid fire, ideas and comebacks this kick arse. Solid writing for sure, but until the characters have established themselves in your mind, you’d better pay attention or you’ll lose the plot. In a way I wanted the writing to slow down a little... but then again it is set in a place where adrenaline is eaten for breakfast.

Four U.S. soldiers are sent on a mission to assassinate a target known as The Bearded Lady. Four specialists in their own field who rely on the others. All part of a well-oiled machine, all with different motivations and ideals. By the play’s end we are left questioning – as we do in real life – just what the hell is really going on.

The military needs drones, and the four characters presented in this play are mostly drones. They obey orders without question, but this does not mean they get along together or that they don’t silently question the orders they are given. I think this is what the play was looking at – how the entity that is military force doesn’t respect individuals or life at all.

Sam Haft pretty well stole the show with his portrayal of swaggering, testosterone-fueled sniper Freud. He had some damned funny lines and his acting was nothing short of superb. I overheard two other audience members comment on his performance. That he stood out from the others says a lot because all characters had some genuinely funny lines and were well-drawn characters heading full tilt into a mission that was always going to implode in one way or another.

Staging was simple and striking, and towards the end especially it took on a slightly surreal feel as the four soldiers were flown into enemy territory and dropped on their mission. There was something a bit bent about it all, something slightly insane as personal politics really came into play and things became even more nightmarish.

Adriano Shaplin’s 70 minute play is fast, funny, disturbing and, you’ll suspect, depressingly real.

Darlinghurst Theatre until 15 September.


Sunday, September 02, 2007


Shagged. Just finished two 15 hour reasonably hectic shifts with a five hour nap separating them, so I don't really trust myself to write anything that makes sense. So instead here is my next Grumpy column as it appears in Tsunami mag.

Commencing intense alcohol wind down. Night night... Ooh - Nick Cave special on the telly. Sweet.


Lee Bemrose

Sometimes my working lives are so far apart from each other it does my head in. For example, I am somehow part of the team of chefs at The Sydney Opera House that will be feeding George Bush and his Australian girlfriend John Howard during this fiasco called APEC. Various spook organisations have apparently done background checks on us to ensure that no matter how much we might not like these storm-trooping world leaders, we’re not going to attempt to assassinate them. Brilliant idea, isn’t it? Get some of the world’s most unpopular leaders together in a building that doesn’t exactly blend into the background, shut down the city, close private businesses, commandeer private carparks in the surrounding area, spend squillions on defence so that the leaders of various countries can... can do what exactly? Talk about stuff. Oh yeah – and last night on the news it was announced that the public will be denied access to nearby public areas to watch the massive fireworks display being put on for George & Johnny. I’m glad they get to watch the fireworks in private. It’s so romantic it makes me shit in my pants. With all the security and undercover going on, we keep making nervous jokes about how we should be paid danger money. But you know, I kind of think we should be paid danger money.

At the other extreme, I have this very cool clothing shop called Psydeways. It’s a great little place that pulls all sorts of party people. International visitors drop in to find out about the local scene. I meet like-minded party people all day long, talk about various parties and DJs... you call this work? Also, I get to dress the mannequins and girliquins. And I’m fucking good at it too. As good as any gay guy I know.

Also, the other day a customer came out of the changeroom wearing a cute little top. Checked herself out in the mirror. Turned one way, then the other. She looked hot. She looked pleased, then frowned. She jutted out her perky chest a little and said, “Is the top see-through?” I looked at her breasts but couldn’t tell. So I moved closer and squinted while she jutted... and yeah, it was kinda see-through. “But in a good way,” I reassured her. She looked pleased again and bought the top.

The job with danger money or the one without? Hmm. Think I’ll take both.