Saturday, January 31, 2009

We All Live In A Bogged Submarine

It's not uncommon when doofing to come across someone who has bogged their vehicle in the mud. You have to strop and give them a hand. But it is a little bit odd when the bogged vehicle is a submarine. I mean, have you seen the size of those things? And how in the fuck do you get a submarine bogged? What the hell kind of drugs are people on that they think they can drive a submarine to a bush party? And where can I get some of those drugs because the tripped out bastards almost made it.
Mind you, I don't appear to be helping the unboggingness of the submarine so much as just going, "Whoa... check this out. I'm on the deck of a bogged submarine in the middle of a park in country New South Wales. Quite cool."

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Couple of Exodus Shots and The Day Of Hate

The shots from the Exodus part of the trip just aren't as colourful as the Rainbow ones. Still, here are a few random shots. This is the swimming hole at the new Exodus site. If Rainbow had such a waterhole, it would be perfection. There's even a waterfall up behind the rocks. Great way to unwind and get rid of some of the dancefloor dust.
A few people went a bit mudnuts at Exodus. These mudwomen just casually made their way down to the main stage, had a bit of a mudboogey, then went back to the mud pit. Very funny. Very doof.
A random shot of the trance stage. The crowd on the main stage ebbed and flowed but the trance stage rarely stopped stomping.
One of the acts that did really get the main stage going was Deya Dova. Think I've raved enough about that act. Do go see them live if you ever get the chance.

And you know what I just realised? The Dreaded One and I drove over 4,000 kilometres and absolutely nothing went wrong. Nothing. We didn't get lost (except briefly when trying to get out of Melbourne), we didn't have any arguments (just the standard ones when I get grumpy setting up and pulling down the tent because where in the hell are my tent minions?), there were no physical injuries... oh wait on - the back injury in the toilet near Lismore and the self inflicted black eye whilst nana napping... but other than that, nothing bad happened. Which sucks. No funny stories.

There was The Day Of Hate at Exodus. Started off with a friend with a three year old darling little girl. The father was setting up his tent and said to the little girl, "Just go and play with Lee for a bit until I set the tent up and find you someone younger to play with. The little girl replied with fierce petulance, "NO! I hate him!"

I was devastated. The father reassured me by telling me that it's nothing to worry about because she tells him that she hates him all the time. Thing was, he has a history with her. He's probably given her loads of reasons to hate him. I was only meeting her for the second time. What's to hate about me? She didn't have to adore me, but why hate me?

Later that weekend... I'd had a brief chat with a doof woman, bit of a laugh, all sweet. Later I saw the same woman sitting by herself so I thought I'd sit down and say hello.

"Okay if I sit here?" I asked.


She didn't appear to recognise me, so I said, "We had a brief conversation this morning -"

"Oh yes? And how was that experience for you?"

I was a bit taken aback by the slight edge in her tone.

"It was fine," I told her. "Quite pleasant. I just thought I'd say hello."

I should have bailed during the ensuing silence.

"My name is Lee, by the way," I soldiered foolishly on.




"Wot? Why do you keep saying Universe at me?"


"I told you, it's Lee."

"My name. It's Universe. Duh."

(She didn't actually say duh but she may as well have.)

"Oh. I see. I didn't understand but I do now..."

Another pause in which I should have gotten the hell out of there.

"So... That sure is an interesting name, Universe. Did you choose it yourself or did your parents - "

"Look, I don't know. Why did your parents call you Lee, Lee?"

I couldn't believe it. I'd just sat down to say hello.

"Look," Universe snapped, "I'm going to get some water!" And she stood up, oozing anger, which made me angry too.

"Oh yeah? Well I'm going over there to sit under that tree all the way over there!"

And with that we stormed - stormed off in opposite directions. Two complete strangers with no reason whatsoever to have the shits with each other.

Like, I don't know. How does shit like that happen? Funny as hell.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Exodus & Rainbow Serpent '09 Road Trip

After covering 4,000 kilometres over three weeks and through three states, taking in two four day dance festivals, we're back. I think that qualifies as a road trip.

I don't know where to start, really. We really packed a lot in. So many laughs, so much dancing with friends, so many wonderful doof freaks. Heading out of Rainbow it was hilarious to call into the first service station and the place was swamped with doofers. The woman behind the counter looked like she didn't know what the hell was going on or why her very normal service station was suddenly inundated with so many strange people.

And I saw penguins at the Melbourne Aquarium. I like penguins.

Anyway, lots to tell, lots of photos to post, but later. I'm a bit shagged right now.

How have you been?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Deya Dova at Exodus Cyber Tribal Festival 2009

Hello. I'm back, briefly. Not sure if you read the comments in the last post but yeah, I really did get into a bit of a dummy spit with a woman called Universe, really did throw my back out badly trying to get out of a toilet cubicle in a place called Casino, really did smack myself in the eye whilst napping hard enough to bruise it. There is lots of amusing stuff to write about.

But first... I tried to upload some of my footage of Deya Dova but it didn't work so here's a youtube piece. It's not from Exodus but it will have to do for now.

I think there are a couple of types of music moments. Sometimes you know a band or performer and you're excited to see/hear them perform. Other times you've never heard of someone and they stop you dead in your tracks and you become an instant fan.

Walking back from the campsite across the mainstage on the way back to the trance stage I walked into a crowd totally going off. Good to see because the main stage at Exodus rarely sustains the energy level of the trance stage. I looked up and saw Deya Dova doing some really upbeat dance stuff to the programming of DJ Pulse. I couldn't believe how good this music was. Her voice is so primal, and DJ Pulse looked earnest as he worked his Apple Mac, occasionally looking up at Deya as she hit a note and smiling with admiration and respect. Beautiful partnership.

After a while Ann said she was going back to the trance stage. I said I wasn't going anywhere. Deya looped and harmonised with her own vocals. Sometimes the dancefloor was jumping, other times it swayed to more chilled beats. Frequently I had goosebumps.

Later I said hello and bought a CD which Deya signed. I said that their act was the music highlight of the festival so far. Deya thought that was great. I said steady on - it's a long weekend and anything could happen. Deya and Hamilton (DJ Pulse) both laughed at this. As it turned out, that was indeed the music highlight for me. They are Australian and live in far northern NSW. The influences in the music come from all over the world but amazingly the lyrics are not any language. She just opens up and draws on what she told me was a cellular level we're all in touch with.

The album I have is called The Jasmani Garden. It's quite meditative stuff, quite spiritual. It's in the stack with Kolliope, Laurie Anderson, Inga Liljestrom and a few others that I go to sleep to or put on my my head needs rescuing.

Apparently a new album is coming out that contains more of the dancey stuff. I cannot express how excited I am about this. Going to do all I can to get behind it.

Next post, I'll tell you about that dunny door and my back and that hostile woman called Universe.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Gone to Exodus Cyber Tribal Festival

No more sleeps til road trip. I'm getting feral and tribal on my way to here. I'll probably pop online again in about a week from Byron Bay.

Road triiiiiiiip!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The Burlesque Hour... A Teaser.

I had a bitch of a time writing my story about Moira Finucane and The Burlesque Hour. Seriously, it did my head in. Usually 1,000 words is a breeze but it took hours to get this one down. Just couldn't get a roll going. Why? I think it's because it's such a rich show, she's such an interesting performer, and so much has already been written about it that I found it hard to avoid familiar ground.

Here's the direction I took:



If you concentrate on some of Moira Finucane’s darker performances, the prospect of interviewing her could a little intimidating, like the prospect of interviewing Grace Jones or Diamanda Galas. These are fiercely intelligent women who delight in the darker side of human nature and who are not afraid to take chances with their art, and in doing so have created something unique.

However Finucane’s performances are rarely as unrelentingly dark as that of Galas’, nor, it would appear, is she as precious about her image as Grace Jones. Still, if you’ve seen her perform you’ll know she is no shrinking violet. And that’s where the prospect of an interview being intimidating comes in.

It was far from an intimidating interview. She was lovely and she's an amazing performer. I'm really very surprised I had such a hard time getting the piece down. Will post the rest of it after it comes out in Drum... although I'm away from the computer for the next couple of weeks. Hmm.


Of all the images of Moira Finucane, I think this one is my favourite.

(One more sleep til road trip).

Monday, January 05, 2009

Oh Christmas Sticks, Oh Christmas Sticks...

Look - it's either a minimalist Christmas tree or it's Christmas sticks with baubles.

I think it's probably Christmas sticks, but to me it's a tree. Not quite the lush job some people came up with, but I kinda like it.

And speaking of holidays, I'm currently on one. Bought a ridiculously complicated tent with The Dreaded One on the weekend (complete with guest quarters and a west wing) and we hit the road in a couple of days. Up north for the Exodus four day dance festival, brief stop in Byron Bay, back down to Sydney hopefully to catch a couple of Sydney Festival performances before heading down to Rainbow Serpent a cou0ple of hours out of Melbourne for another four days of outdoor music and dancing.

My holiday reading? Instructions on how to set the tent up and how to make the camera work.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Digitus Impudicus

My understanding of the way invitations work is this: You put together a wish list of all the people you’d like to come to your party, knowing that most will probably accept the invitation while some will not accept. Non-acceptances might be due to prior engagements or financial constraints if the party is happening, say, on the other side of the planet.

To be not invited to a party could be due to a few reasons. Maybe the person having the party is oblivious to your existence. Don’t take it personally; it’s a big world.

To not be invited could be due to the fact that they know you, just not well enough to invite you because your are not a family member or close friend. Again, don’t take it personally because the thing with friendship is that it’s a layered thing, a satellite thing. You might be cool and they might be cool, but the cosmos hasn’t made you close just yet.

To not be invited might also be a snub. Maybe you mix in the same circles but you’ve done something to piss off the invitation-giver. You can be offended by this or you can shrug it off. Depends on what kind of person you are. I tend to be a shrugger; if the friendship means nothing, it’s nothing. I turn my back and leave, flipping the bird in a nonchalant way like Iggy Pop at the end of his Big Day Out gig a couple of years ago. (Side note – did you know that flipping the bird was known as digitus impudicus in ancient Rome?).

But there’s a whole other possibility that I’ve not been able to find any reference to in any of the invitation etiquette websites I’ve been trawling recently. This is the one where the person holding the party tells you they are holding a party but they have decided not to invite you. That’s right – someone got in touch with me to tell me they have decided not to invite me to their thing. I’m not distant enough a satellite to simply ignore, not worthy of a simple non-invitation snub, but worth contacting to officially inform me that I am not invited.

This is what is known in the industry as a double snub. Or because there is a degree of nose rubbing, a dub snub ‘n rub. And I think it’s hilarious. It’s possibly something to be quite proud off, like when you write something and receive hate-mail over it.

Thing is, how far do you take this business of contacting people to tell them they are not invited to your thing. If you are telling everyone who is not invited that they are not invited, the list of non-invitees has to be pretty extensive, given the size of the human population. Bugger me - just contacting everyone you know who isn’t invited to tell them they are not invited has surely got to outweigh the list of people who are actually invited. You’re going to be a busy little you’re-not-invited-to-my-thing writer.

Oh there was an amusing qualifier... if I was upset about the fact that I was not invited I could request an invitation. Gee. Wow. Lucky me.

You humans just get weirder and weirder. Main thing that I’ve gotten out of all of this is that if I ever start a thrash metal band, it will be called Digitus Impudicus.

Thursday, January 01, 2009


Nothing sadder
Than the genuine happiness
Brought about
By the distant glimpse
Of a beautiful thing.

Saw the fireworks in Sydney up close and personal again and they reminded me of my grandmother. She used to get such happiness out of seeing the fireworks, completely missing the fact that our suburban home was just within distant vision of the fireworks... she was always so happy having seen them and we, her grandchildren, thought this was what it meant to' see the fireworks.'

I don't know. You need to hear the boom. You need to see the colour exploding all around you. You need to smell of the burn in the air. You need to be closer to beautiful things.

She was happy with her distant glimpse. I think that's a bit sad.