I did some housekeeping, I was averaging a lot of spam comments, but only on four offending posts. This meant that lovely comments from Leonie and The Good Groupie went unnoticed, which is hardly fair. So I closed the offending posts and approved the awesome comments (I hope I caught them all).
Speaking of The Good Groupie, I have to throw a shoutout to her, as she makes me look like an Average Groupie. There’s lots of top fangirling happening in her blog, so if you dig music and stories, it is well worth dropping by.
I wrote this a long time ago, but was thinking about it recently, so I thought I would edit it a little bit and put it on show, in honour of being a Good Groupie. My friends and I dubbed this week the “Week of Radness” because, as you can see, it was a six out of seven kind of week. I’m not any better at writing, but I hope that we’re all still having this much fun.
* * * * *
So you want to talk about rock ‘n’ roll?
TUESDAY: DRINKS @ THE BAD ABODE
Sitting on the floor of Bad Laura’s Bad Abode, drinking Passion Snap Champagne Cocktails, eating M&M’s, creating dream boys and then putting them into the dirtiest contexts the English dictionary would allow, all in a Russian accent.
Kate arrived in Melbourne, so after a leisurely day of lunch and Fitzroy, we laughed until we confessed those kind of secrets that used to be private smiles between us and our scandals. Welcome to Melbourne, Kate!
You’ll need this: Rules to Rude Word Scrabble
1. Think of a word.
2. Make it dirty.
EG “I want to flist Isaac’s squishy,” “Probe me, Patrick,” “If Taylor is hung like a picture, I want to mount him on the wall,” and, of course, “Are you still looking for penetration?”
WEDNESDAY: HOUSEWARMING @ BECC AND JANEE’S
Kate and I made our way around Sunbury, finishing her VU application for next year. We also plotted our revolutionary take-over of the music industry. The plan is to pool the resources we’ll get from our respective courses. She’s going Music Business, and while I’ll still be doing my Communications degree, I’ve picked electives to place me further within the music industry — Radio, Popular Music and Society and Introduction to PR. Together, we should be able to manage Becc’s dream career (until it gets too big for us and we have to call Elton John for help), and really give the Indie Music Mafia another kick.
I had to work that afternoon, so I was a late arrival, but I did bear witness to Becc and Heidi being intimate (Becc’s words, not Heidi’s) as they shared a moment over candlelight. Zoe and I made for great background music (“Chemical party lover DOWN!”)
Bad Laura, Zoe and I shall form a band, The Mismatched Shoes. I’m going to teach Bad Laura how to play bass. Admit it — she’d be the hottest bass player EVER! Next to Gavin DeGraw’s bass player and Janis Joplin from The Hovercrafts.
THURSDAY: ROLLOVER @ THE PALACE
THE Anniversary! Happy birthday to Sleazy Isaac. We were fucking wasted for you!
The night began with more Passion Snaps at Zoe’s place, before heading down to St Kilda to meet my brother and his mates, and shake some action.
The Vandas weren’t wearing paisley (tie-dye, WTF?), but the country air seemed to have done them good, they aced their delicious blend of aloof cool and alt. country rock groove. Yum. I wanted to hear that song of theirs that I adore that isn’t on the EP, but hearing ‘Hours Away’ was a nice makeup.
We always have a good time with The Hovercrafts. Getting Chris in on our game of Rude Word Scrabble was a bit of silly fun, especially since he didn’t know he was playing…
Janis Joplin: “Excuse us, we’re just having some technical difficulties.”
Bad Laura: “Technical difficulties!”
JJ: “It’s… not that funny…!”
BL: “Yes it is!”
Of course, that’s much funnier if you’ve been playing Rude Word Scrabble since Tuesday.
Janee and I fangirled Chris after the show…
JJ: “Sorry we SUCKED!”
Me: “You didn’t SUCK!”
JJ: “Oh, I think we SUCKED!”
Me: “Now look. We wouldn’t keep coming back if you did. Come here.” (opens arms out and hugs Chris)
We chatted about their next gig (keep reading), shared four more hugs, and made a pinky promise about something, I don’t remember what…
Hugged Hovercraft Total: 2. I. Love. This. Band!
FRIDAY: CHAMPAGNE @ THE ELEPHANT AND WHEELBARROW
I spent some quality time on the steps of the State Library, eating the Official Food of Tour 2004 (SUBWAY!) and reading Rolling Stone, before dawdling to Fitzroy and back to see if I could get my glasses fixed. Me and my dodgy glasses then headed back to have a quiet one, or ten, with Becc and Bad Laura.
Picture it: I’m at the bar, Becc and Bad Laura are at the table, and some random cuties are across the way. I hear this…
Bad Laura: “… mile high club… aeroplane sex…”
Random Cuties: “… sex…!”
I love you, Bad Laura!
SATURDAY: BRITISH INDIA @ THE DING DONG LOUNGE
Becc: “What’s happening, girlfriend? I feel like some live music.”
Nyssa: “Take your pick, British India or The Wellingtons. PS I know where Collusion are hanging out tonight.”
Becc: “Let’s make it happen!”
So, we donned our hottest shoes and headed on over to The Ding Dong to chill with Sam, Scott, Ravi and Hugh. And it was a bundle of fun. We spotto’d them because of their hair, which at the Ding Dong was no mean feat, and just nestled in right next to them. They’re huge British India fans, and it was the most adorable thing in the world to watch them be fangirls, singing the songs to each other and taking photos. This, of course, after two pots, yay for Stellas and Asahi on tap, compelled Becc and I to climb over the furniture and dance. Kids from Russia were the support, Becc probably wanted to murder me for not telling her earlier, but British India showed ‘em how it was done, so I’m enlightened and excited to see them play the Big Day Out. (Random, the second announcement has just been made, The Vandas are playing Melbourne! Squeee!) Photographer Sam took some photos, so I’ve already started to try and track those down.
I love my fangirl sisters, but I think it’s agreed that we need some boys who aren’t up on the rock pedestal, who we can talk with, flirt with, drink with and be friends with. Hopefully we’ve found some.
SUNDAY: THE HOVERCRAFTS @ THE RETREAT HOTEL
Zoe had to take around all the champagne we didn’t drink this week to Becc and Janee’s, which was a kind of poetic move. We ate ice cream and strawberries, the fangirl diet on Sober Sundays, which was very sweet.
Another sweet moment was that Zoe and I didn’t have to go fangirl The Hovercrafts to tell them thanks for playing in the neighbourhood — they came up to us. Janis and The Hair (haha, okay, AKA Chris and Dave) said thanks for coming to all the shows, and we chatted for a bit. It was a surreal place, I’m not used to chatting with musicians like that), and when I felt the convo coming to an end, with no one moving away, I busted out a line you reserve for people you actually know — “So, how are you?” — and I was suddenly hearing about Dave’s weekend at a friend’s wedding. It moved from fangirling to normal, and it was nice. Chris also had a vent about the rockband lifestyle, “We need a break, it feels like we’re burning the candle at both ends,” see the bonding session with Tim from Foreshore, which always touches me.
You have great songs and look good on a stage. Keep the faith.
Me and my iPod were dancing down Collins Street on Wednesday to this, I thought it was so appropriate.
xoxo Nyssa on the 5th January, 2011 | 2 comments
filed under housekeeping | out and about | writing
and tagged with | british india, ding dong, i'll never work in this town again, kids from russia, motor ace, the elephant and wheelbarrow, the hovercrafts, the palace, the retreat, the vandas
I’ve mentioned the first time I ever went to The Tote. By the second time I went, I understood the legend of it and was appropriately enamoured by it. Zoe and I returned to see The Vandas, who brought along “Melbourne’s most handsome band” (if I remember correctly) The Hovercrafts. After their set, Zoe and I were so giddy we started to write a song — “I’m just a sucker/For a 70′s hairdo/And a boy in a paisley shirt/Who wears his demin, yeah! Just like you!” We bought EP’s and T-shirts, gave most of the members nicknames in lieu of learning their real names, they even sung ‘Birthday’ by The Beatles at my 21st birthday party.
Late last year, perhaps even early this year, The Hovercrafts rebranded. Maintaining their lineup, they changed their name, ditched all the old songs, and changed their name to Valleys. Ever since, I’d been putting off seeing the “new” band, because I’m a major wuss about these things and I was afraid that my connection to the old songs would be altered by the new songs (despite The Hovercrafts and Valleys being two separate entities) and that I’d have to confront the fact that there was no more ‘Shake Some’. Anyway, I manned up last night, convinced Bad Laura and Neil to come with me, and headed out to Ding Dong to see Valleys at Weekender.
I feel that any opinion I have about Valleys is clouded due to my Hover-past. I have music-reviewer-101 ideas — the songs are not immediately catchy but will probably turn into real growers, plus there was a lot of reverb — but I think that I am trying to like the new band so earnestly, I’m overlooking key parts of their set, looking for any hook that reminds me of the old songs. I’m not treating the music as being made by two different bands, which I’m sure is the approach that would be appreciated.
I took some photos last night but have no idea if they will turn out. Gig photography is definitely better serviced by a digital camera!
After the band, there was some mingling before Leonie, Claire, Jane, Bad Laura and I danced the night away. Highlights include grooving to Florance and The Machine, The Strokes, Kele, plus more, I had several beers and while I recall singing along passionately to something, I can’t remember what it was. And while a more relaxed approach to Valleys is what is required, it’s also important not to forget the past completely.
xoxo Nyssa on the 8th August, 2010 | no comments
filed under out and about
and tagged with | ding dong, the hovercrafts, valleys
Snapshots are my favourite form of photography. Perhaps this has come about from trying to capture my cat on film (he is notoriously difficult to shoot), but I think it’s because of how snapshot photography makes me feel. I can usually immediately summon the situation, the people, and the feeling of any moment that has been snapped, plus the candid nature of both the subject and the photographer is on show. My Dad has said the same thing in the past – “Scenery is nice, but I always take second and third looks at the photos with people in them.”
These are some of my favourite snapshot photos that I have taken, photos that would end up on my desk when I worked in call centres, along with a couple of favourites that my friends took. I can look at these and immediately remember where I was and who I was with.
I didn’t take this one, I was too nervous to go up to Patrick from Motor Ace to ask for his photo. My friend Amy has more courage than me!
(Motor Ace Farewell Gig as The Perseverance Hotel)
Jane borrowed these sunglasses from the boy whose reflection is in the mirror.
Not picture, the tambourine shaped bruise Bad Laura inflicted on Jane’s head
(Geek! at Laundry)
Nick and Zac accurately representing 3AM
(coming from The Tote Hotel going to Pony after The Wellingtons farewell fundraiser)
This photo made me feel like a rockstar photographer, and I do believe it’s still printed up on some fridges around Brunswick
(The Hovercrafts at The Rob Roy Hotel, the second time I saw them, ever!)
Steve (and Alannah). This one is an example of what the photo says about the photographer, I used to go out with this guy and I always thought that this photo made it really obvious
(arriving at Pony after The Wellingtons farewell fundraiser)
Flash! Jane! It was either this photo or the one of my brother falling down
(Houseparty at The Rad Pad)
Red Hot Leonie! This photo, and another one a little lower down, have not been edited digitally. This was a gig at Revolver, where the band projected 3D films onto the wall and sold 3D glasses, with the red and the blue lenses. So we were mucking around with that. (One of the photos actually ended up being used on a band poster later on!)
(Johnny Rock at Revolver in 3D)
Franco och Tash i Vegas. I didn’t take this one, but was one of many who agreed it’s a lovely shot
(It’s Vegas Baby at The Rad Pad)
The coolest couple in indie rock, Johnny and Kasia
(Johnny Rock and The Limits at Revolver in 3D)
xoxo Nyssa on the 22nd May, 2010 | no comments
filed under COSC1010
and tagged with | johnny rock and the limits, laundry, motor ace, photography, pony, revolver, skybombers, snapshots, the hair, the hovercrafts, the wellingtons
This weekend managed to bring together two of my favourite things ever, Christmas in July, and dancing with Zoe to The Hovercrafts at Ding Dong.
Neil’s work puts on Christmas in July every year because a fair majority of them are English and just can’t imagine the cold without the holiday cheer to keep them warm. I’m going out on a limb with this one, but I think that Christmas in July is better than normal Christmas, because there’s none of that shopping stress, family stress, or any other Christmas stress, but all of the food and friends you can handle. Everyone brings a plate of food, the boss brings the turkey and it’s on for young and old after that. And just because most of Neil’s workmates have Australian partners, someone even thought to bring the prawns. BLESS.
After eating the leftovers, Neil and I headed into the city to shake some action. We stopped off at Spleen first, a cosy bar my brother introduced us to not long ago. It’s got that inner-north suburb shabby chic thing going on, with vintage lamps and old, yet comfy couches, along with bar staff that could, with consistent visits, potentially remember you by your drink. (I have a feeling they’ve got me pegged down at The Brunswick Green as Bombay Sapphire with cranberry and a dash of lime). The bartenders are knowledgable about the indie beers and quality spirits they sell and not only have great house cocktails, but are good at on the spot mixing. Last night, after the bartender learned I was a martini kind of girl, was so excited to make me his newest thing. A gin (Bombay Sapphire) martini, with Cinzano vermouth, a dash of Galliano, and cinnamon dusted around the edge of the glass. Served with two olives, it was one fun drink. Kept me warm at least. I think my favourite ingrediant was the enthusiasm of the guy who made it.
Finally, we arrived at Ding Dong and met Zoe and Matthew. It was Weekender, so we went to town on all of our favourite Ding Dong traditions, like a $10 jug of beer and the $5 shots, which may not have been as classy as the martini, but then again, there is nothing classy about Ding Dong, starting with the curtains and ending at the bathrooms coated in lipstick graffitti, and I don’t know anyone who would have it any other way. Zoe and I used to dance to The Hovercrafts in our kitchen when we lived together. We’d put ‘The Get Around EP’ on, pop a bottle of champagne, and wear our shoes in so that we were ready for the rock dancefloors of Melbourne.
The Hovercrafts may not have played ‘Shake Some’ last night, but we’re all cool with the new songs, like ‘Asleep at the Wheel’, ‘Better Party (I Won’t be Here by the Time I’m Gone)’ and, our personal favourite, ‘Texas High’. If you sign up to their mailing list, you can download a free copy of their latest EP, ‘Parapets’, which kick started my Sunday arvo and made it rock.
And, just like old times, Zoe and I nicked the setlist. Ahhh, thrilling. I don’t think we’ve ever told the band, although they’re going to know now…
xoxo Nyssa on the 12th July, 2009 | no comments
filed under music | out and about
and tagged with | christmas in july, ding dong, spleen, the hovercrafts
Sometimes it’s hard to go back. After all, you can never go back home again. However, sometimes it’s not going back, sometimes, run with me here, sometimes people are growing like you are. And when you meet up again, sure, you’re different people, but it means you have something to talk about. Nostalgia is safe, but it’s nothing new.
Last night, after home made hamburgers with Zoe, Matthew, Kate, Mike, Jane and Nick, where we played with our new disco light and Franz Ferdinand records, Nick, Zoe and I headed off to The Old Bar in Fitzroy to catch up with The Hovercrafts. It was quite a lineup, with The Cheats and Telecom, although we only arrived in time to catch the last half of The Cheats’ set. They’re loud and fast, rebels without causes. Best served with a frozen daquiri, admiring all the Elvis posters on the wall, of course.
So many people say this about pubs, simply because they’ve got old couches from the op shops in them, a good sign, but the gig at The Old Bar felt like a house party. The stage is tiny, and people stood up to get drinks while the good dancers tore up the tiny dancefloor. With the lineup and the Melbourne indie rock royalty filling the room, The Hovercrafts even busted out ‘Shake Some’. Apparently an old song, but they’ll be playing that one for awhile yet. The new songs sound like they’re fresh off a plane from New York City, they’re slick, hip and ultra cool. My favourite Hover-lyric is, “I got invited to a better party/A higher calibre of hangers on,” so rock!
Of course, these hangers on are still hanging around. You can never go home again, but when rock impresses you so much, it would be rude not to stop by and have a drink.