I knew last weekend’s hangover was behind me when I stared mulling over the pitcher of Bloody Marys I was going to bring to Suzie’s garage sale on Saturday. This was on Thursday. I was on a tram. I was heading to work. I was finishing Jay McInerney’s Brightness Falls, which contains the adverb archly numerous times. I was about to start The Good Life, his follow-up, a De Campo recommendation. I was feeling good. I was listening to Ariel Pink, Hollywood man, he who has struck the raddest chord with me and everything I adore about pop music, the dude is a prince and he speaks to me on a rarefied level shared by only two others, Destroyer Dan and Stephen Malkmus. The pop artist as the great anti-depressant. No wonder I was feeling fine.
Gyna at work continues to terrorise me. She always drinks the coffee I brew. I have solved the puzzle that is the coffee plunger. I can make it taste like a proper espresso. No wonder she likes it. The last time I went into the kitchen at work to check on my coffee the plunger was empty. I told Regyna thanks a lot. She tried to make an excuse with coffee in her mouth at the same time and she spit up all over herself.
It took me until Thursday to start thinking about making bloody marys because I had too much fun last weekend and felt pretty rotten most the week.
It all began on Saturday with the Shooting at Unarmed Men photo shoot. De Campo’s friend Julian and Coops are the OZ rhythm section for Jon Chapple, who moved here a few months ago from Wales. The band arrived at 2pm and we immediately started drinking Mandarin and Tonics. Jon and I argued about Smog’s last album (I liked it; he didn’t) and Nathan Barley (he liked it; I didn’t). Then we all went for a walk around Fitzroy and Collingwood taking pictures. The sun was out. Jon said he was interested in an album cover featuring just their dicks. De Campo didn’t think much of that idea. I assured her he wasn’t serious, even though I knew he was. We all ended up at the Tote and luckily caught some of Penny Ikinger’s set, doing her 5pm Saturday residency during the month of September. Her voice is a big hit of morphine and her guitar is a snake. She is terrific.
Jon was still around, but he needed to be somewhere and so did we: Little Rebel, rock and roll burger joint on Gertrude and after that home because we were expecting company. De Campo took down his details and said she’d call him later from the bar we were going to. We met Marc and Debbie at Little Rebel. Debbie was doing a puppet show up the road but not until later, so Marc and her were just killing time. We ordered burgers and they were fantastic, mine sat there in my stomach soaking up the alcohol, I began to worry that it was affecting my buzz, it had certainly diminished my pizzazz. Mia was at our place when we got home and Carla and two Andrews (one a shoe salesmen, the other a museum curator) dropped in a few minutes later. We drank vodka tonics, listened to indie rock and hit the Rob Roy at 9.15pm. Actor/Model were playing and they were magnificent. My only comparison is Dinosaur Jr with keyboards, so less metal and more pop. Guitarist Ricky French is a big-time groove guitarist playing epic, autobahn-friendly riffs. After the show I told Ricky he is a guitar sorcerer and he looked at me like that was the stupidest thing he’s ever heard. I told Andrew how much I love his drumming and emphasised the fact I knew his name by saying Andrew over and over again to make him feel special (his name is Phil). I was in a bizarre mood. I had at least two other three-way conversations where at least one of the persons walked off.
Jon showed up in time for Baseball, the next act and was very impressed with their sound which reminds me a bit of Les Savy Fav. The rhythm section was female - always a good sign. The singer plays violin and shouts. He lacks the grace of Dirty Three’s Warren Ellis, but still, he has charisma and like Ellis makes the instrument look kind of sexy and more than a little punk.
The headliner was rubbish, so we said goodbye to Andrew, the museum curator, and went to the Old Bar. It was now after midnight. There was a cover charge, so we went to the Laundry instead. Carla, Olivia, Jon, Andrew and myself. Jon told a Steve Albini anecdote and Andrew was like, what, you know Steve Albini? Jon told him Steve had recorded his former band. Andrew said who, Jon said Mclusky and Andrew dropped to his knees in worship. Andrew thinking that Shooting at Unarmed Men is someone else’s band then said what’s up with them they’re shit!
Jon handled the embarrassment with complete dignity. Andrew not so well. However I think it’s the start of a beautiful friendship. We talked about other stuff I have no recollection of and then went to the Old Bar to see Spencer P. Jones. There the bouncer this lovely guy with a tattoo on his face and dreadlocks, saw us staggering up and softly said he didn’t want any trouble from us. We chuckled. He is a laugh.
Later Spencer swooned over De Campo and I supplied him with a pint of Guinness. No idea what had happened to Jon, Andrew and Carla, the three of us then went to a party down the road. Ended up at takeaway shop at four in the morning ordering lamb. De Campo and I woke up on the couch at 8.30 the next morning. Chilli sauce on my shoes and all over my water buffalo t-shirt from Bangkok. Fuck!
We saw Spencer two nights later at the Cherry Bar. He still parties like it’s 1999. He did a song for Steve Irwin. I took some hilarious notes that are around here somewhere. So that brings us to Tuesday. Flash-forward two days and we’re back where we started— thinking about bringing bloody marys to suzie’s garage sale.
On Friday, DJ Unstoppable Forces debuted at the Aleks and the Ramps show. Every song we played was mind-blowing. Here’s a smattering:
Swingers, Certain Sound
Lively up Yourself, Byron Lee and the Dragonnaires
Send in the Clouds, Silver Jews
Keep our Chains, Subway Sect
West Coast Calamities, Ariel Pink
One Million Miles, The Bites
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Sea of Tears), Destroyer
Dynamic Calories, The Jicks
Germfree Adolescents, X-Ray Spex
Metal Detector, Spoon
Missed Suzie’s garage sale on Saturday after all. Did partake in a Bloody Mary, best in town at Madame Sou Sou’s. We went there to celebrate our anniversary. Marking two years and so many massive nights.