LapTopping – 80 – “Matey Six”
LapTopping – The Bit Long, Official E-zine of The Bedroom Philosopher
Saturday October 30, 2010
Happy Birthday Edge 37 today! (Canadian pro wrestler, not to be mistaken with ‘The Edge.’)
Happy Birthday Garry McDonald 62 today!
Happy Birthday Henry Winkler 65 today!
FREAKING GIFT IDEAS
Wishing to purchase a tokenistic symbol of appreciation for your tolerated one this commercial sales period? Why not take home a legendary piece of Australiana in the form of a Northcote (So Hungover) signature iPhone cover or T-shirt. Covers are for iPhone 3, come in a smooth matte finish and feature a section of lyrics from the song (pictured). Shirts bear the ‘Rage Against The Sewing Machine’ insignia and are American Apparel. (Girls are medium only). Both $30 inc. postage, or $50 for two items. Purchase two or more items and get a royal blue ‘Lifearooni’ tshirt free! Just email anthea at nibblesmusic dot com with your order and postal address. Old albums and an expired health care card are also available. Five minutes interest free! (Depending how distracted you are).
FEEDBACK FOR THE NORTHCOTE FILM CLIP FROM AN AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL
Story: Interesting song and music video concept. Very compelling. we liked it.
Story telling style: Good. Though it all appeared a bit hard to decipher the moral of the song.
Can improve the concept better ? may be..
Need to clarify the meaning to the audience, if any meaning is intended.
Technical quality: color is good, editing is good. set design: need improvement. Framing : Ok
Overall: We liked the clip. Has lots of Potential for future.
Need to improve the style and script.
We are looking forward to seeing your future projects.
Wish it was longer. ending was a bit abrupt.
NEW SEGMENT! LYRIC POLICE
Bringing song writing laziness to justice.
From Daniel Nicholls, Melbourne.
Digging in a hole
Digging up my soul now
Going down, excavation
U2 – Elevation
THANKYOU DANIEL. GET SLEUTHING AND REPORT YOUR LYRICAL EVIDENCE NOW!
NEW SEGMENT ‘E-TALE.’ Do you have a colourful email address with a funny story behind it? Let us know in 100 words or less. The best ones will be published in the coming issues. Send to laptopping at bedroomphilosopher dot com
GET A WRIGGLE ON GOOGLET!
Phrases people have typed into Google to land on my website:
“red rooster beer tub girl”
“marigold biscuit pudding”
“the bedrom phylosfiser”
“specialist olympic year 12 perth keno”
“yoga in Beecroft”
“cat named squirty”
“matthew krok seat belt safety”
“gay goth adelaide passed aids”
“ringing in ear vegemite”
“the bedroom philosopher is alex kapranos?” (lead singer of Franz Ferdinand)
“gypsy phone video of fat woman in dark bedroom”
“what time can you mow your lawn on a sunday in Canberra”
“guy sebastian favourite drink”
“did anyone see mondo rock at canberra labour club?”
“lovable dolls in lifesaving uniforms”
TIME IS CHEESE AND MOUSE IS HUNGRY!
A GIGGLE OF GIGS
Nov 26-28 – Queenscliffe Music Festival. (solo)
Dec 7, 14, 21 – ‘End Of Financial Year in December’ residency. Northcote Social Club, with The Awkwardstra and special guests Josh Earl (7th), Giles Field (14th) and Scott Edgar & The Universe (21st). Bookings from http://northcotesocialclub.com/
DRESS THEME: Summer Accountant. Prizes for best dressed.
Dec 27-29 – Woodford Folk Festival. (solo)
Dec 30 – Falls Festival Lorne. (solo)
Dec 31 – Falls Festival Marion Bay. (solo)
Jan 2 – Southbound Festival, WA. (solo)
NATIONAL TOUR DIARY
After writing a ‘novel’ for the tour diary, I decided to write a novel for the tour diary. I’m going to publish the thing in paper form next year, along with other writings. In the meantime, enjoy these photos of our jaunts. (Brisbane gig photos by Patrick Self).
BUDDY & ME
Last month, I was booked by Melbourne Music to perform two shows on the 86 tram. This involved me standing between two tram seats, leaning against the back window for balance (and nonchalant swagger), wearing a radio headset mic hooked up to an amp. (Madonna busking). On two occasions I tried to perform Songs From The 86 Tram in its entirety. The first time, a Friday night, the tram set out from Docklands to Bundoora – the opposite direction to the album. It was suggested that I could have performed the songs backwards, (as in, reverse order, phonetically backwards may wear thin). which was a nice idea. There was a medium coterie of fans present, who had scored weekly tickets well in advance. The 86 is a venue that doesn’t need a lot of people to look full.
I banged through the songs, finding the subtler ones like Sudanese weren’t helped by the grumbling rail noise. Tips for performing on a moving vehicle? Yoga really helps with your sense of balance and core strength when riding the bumps. By Bourke Street the tram was squashy from Friday night revellers, and feeling weird about the silent heads staring at me, I bailed on Trishine. Senor Tram Driver was still running the show, threatening to turn the thing around unless people cleared the backdoor. I tried to capture the moment by starting a singalong along the lines of ‘please clear the backdoor’ set to three chords. There’s nothing more vulnerable than walking off a tram you’ve just performed a hit and miss improvised song on while teenage punks behind you parody the chorus: ‘please, get the f#%k off the tram.’
We had to exit, walk across the road and catch another one back to Docklands. My headspace was incorrect at this juncture and I politely shutdown. This was guerrilla business – while we had some Melbourne Music staff with us, the plan was no more intricate than getting on the streetcar with an amp, finding a space between two seats and making a gig happen. For someone who is fussy about having a backstage area and affording a sound check, this renegade experiment was like making up a bed in an elevator.
In a brilliantly crap freak accident of hilarity, I managed to get my puff-jacket zip caught on the high-E string of my guitar. The string had threaded itself within the mechanism of the jacket, so the two were utterly entwined. There are moments in life when one searches for instructions on how one should act; whether this is reaching heavenwards looking for guidance from a maker, or burrowing deep within oneself for a clue, hidden like money inside books. This was one such moment. As I stood there, head down, attached to my guitar, a bystander girl working on the string, Melbourne Music staff passively waiting for me to begin my assigned duties, I was acutely aware that whence normally some form of instinct or instruction filled my consciousness, now there was only the drone of a blipless radar. I wandered through the frazzled bewilderness, to the point of submissively maniacal bittersweet punk-mirth. Tonight was offering me a glimpse of a half-cup of ingredients for a breakdown.
What did I do? As everyday 86 folk watched on with half interest I made attempt number three to prize the awful metal fuselage’s apart. After telling my breath ‘I can’t handle this’ I decided to remove the offending string completely, which ate up a further five minutes of my life like a charcoal faced digital cherub, gobbling up the spare parts of my existence for sport. Ruing the bruises to my professional rep. I thrust into New Media, cutting through the banality like a barnstorming folk pendulum of passionate satire. Then came Northcote, Nan, Old Man At End and for non guitar players, not having the high-E string is like not missing your little finger until you cut it off.
I went to do a scissor kick and hit my head on a handle.
When I look back on the jacket incident, all I want to know is the mathematical odds for accidentally cooking up the world’s worst circus trick – I can only assume it the sort of thing one could sit in a room for a month trying to repeat. Top that and you’d top yourself.
The pitter patter of applause was soft rain on my caravan. At the end of the performance, the staff asked if I wanted to get a taxi back with them into the city. ‘Oh no,’ I said, looking around. ‘I’ll just get the tram.’ I rode back, chatting to a few fans I recognised and some I didn’t, feeling relieved and able to douse my ferocious post-gig analytical brain with the milk of human kindness sourced from cute-eyed questions. For what it was, it was perfect – for something else, it was terrible – therein lies the flawed logic of comparison, in the psyche’s hourly battle to evaluate the status of one’s life and determine whether you deserve any tangible relief from the childhood smear of self-loathing and emotional fallout from family breakdown. I’d given that tram a big ol’ sonic scrapheap and it had kept me safe like a silent robot. Tramsformers – robots doing their dayjobs.
The following Monday we organised for Yarra Trams to allow us to make one continuous journey over the hour, removing the awkward stopover. Tonight I was primed and organised. There would be only rock star brilliance and world class comedian riding the line between genius and mediocrity. None of that emo waffle. I locked in, buckled down, fired up and folked out. It was, as they say in the industry, all good mate. Things got real as the tram began its violent turn left into Smith Street. I had just started Tram Inspector, puffing my chest up like a red-hot captain of intrigue, when a wry, ‘chicken salt of the earth’ character rocked up in blue checked shirt and cap, looking weathered and ready for most things. He plonked down right in front of me with his back to the stage, effortlessly harbouring most of the spotlight. A few times he turned around to sum up my predicament, seeming reticent about the evening’s entertainment and my asexual advances, yet still nursing a wild glint in his eye. As boyish giggles rippled through the droll funk veneer I was failing to buoy, some in the crowd were also shaking, fingers over their mouths like pink draw-bridges. In this moment I was at my happiest. During the instrumental outro I declared “Old mate solo.”
Hardest thing about performing on a tram? Making eye contact with your audience, normally shielded by the lights. My eyes roamed like ladybirds.
Next up was the spoken word of Man On A Tram, and my new friend sprang to life, fishing his wallet out of his pocket and showing me his Medicare card. Analysing my code of ethics, I was cautious to engage him knowing this could draw an avalanche. I fixed my gaze to the middle distance and finished the tune. Throwing caution to the air conditioning, I glared at him.
“Hello sir just letting you know I’m doing some lifechangingly genius musical comedy for you tonight.”
He had his wallet out again. Holding up his Medicare card.
“That’s me name, Buddy.”
He’d picked up on my ‘old mate’ quip and was setting the record straight.
“Oh right, okay, Buddy. Do you have any requests?” I mumbled, not sure where to go.
A bloke who’d been filming chipped in to ask him if he could sign a release form.
“Sure, as long as it’s not going on Crime Stoppers.” He grinned.
“Well, you’ll soon be wanted for stealing attention from this gig.” I returned, mock icily.
Who am I?
While some in the crowd (including my manager) were wary of the dynamic, especially knowing my temper and the fact I can snap any man, my Bogar (bogan radar), developed from a half-life in Burnie told me that this situation was apples. Buddy was a good egg.
I continued on, suffering headset problems and subsequently throwing a thirty year old man tantrum (a tramtrum), flinging the infernal gadget onto the cushion and trying to belt out Nan acapella, which is like trying to sing an opera through a didgeridoo. Precious micrograms of gig momentum escaping from the rupture in my mood, I whipped the headset back on and tried New Media, but sensing exhausted levels of commitment, I aborted the thing. At this moment two things occurred to me:
While I’d performed the album in order thus far, I’d forgotten to play Trishine.
Buddy was about to get off the tram.
“Buddy, I’ve got a song for you.”
“This is my stop mate.”
“You should miss a few stops. Stay to the end of the gig. It’ll be cool.”
“But the bottleshop’s back there!”
“Ah, well ok. Anyway, this is a love song.”
To my delight, Buddy sat back down, and propped himself against the window. I started the song off “words can get f$ ^cked,” to which Buddy had his first real chuckle of the night. As the song progressed, his face relaxed from a smile to a wistful gaze. As the ballad approached the emphatic chorus of its title, Buddy went somewhere deep in his mind. Unbeknownst to me, at this time he reached his arm into his shirt and removed a piece of sticky white paper. It was his nicotine patch. As the song neared its finish, he stood up in a daze and headed toward the tram doors. I sped up, keen to preserve the poetic harmony of the moment. Buddy looked at me, his blue eyes swimming in the neon light, and like a tree in a hurry to grow, he raised a hand to wave and stepped into the night. I had finished my hour’s performance and stood, heart pounding as the tram rolled on. The guy filming came up to me for an interview and assured me that he had gotten the entire incident on video.
“That was him,” I told the camera, blood and time brought to a crawl “That was the Trishine guy.” In a Beat interview I had joked at the idea of the corresponding characters getting on the tram like a live film clip, but apart from a few near-Northcote hipters, I could not have foreseen anything so poignant. For those few minutes, art and life had combined as one, parody sat comfortably next to tribute and the moons of satire and society slipped beneath each other, creating a humour eclipse more graceful than blinding. The 86 had sent a representative, on behalf of the people I had dwelled within for these past two years – a spirit guide with grey goatee and jeans – a solid father figure to acknowledge my daydream dedication.
“You’re all right mate.”
I felt more blessed that night than I did during ten years of religion.
LAYTOPING IS MISPELLED, AND FREE! WHAT A GREAT GIFT IDEA, AND IT’LL CUT YOUR ENERGY BILLS IN HALF! SEND IT TO A FRIEND!
NOTICE AND DISCLAIMER
Yo, da info hangin’ in ‘dis e-mail’s crib and any digital entourage is strictly on the zip nigga. If yo ain’t the legit dealer, any messin’ with our shiiiiit is unauthorised yo hearin’ me? If yo got this e-mail in and you’re goofin with the five-oh, you better get word to my boyz pronto before they spam yo’ ass, you down? We ain’t claimin no responsibility for nuthin’ that comes outta our e-game. Your crew gotta go y’own way cos we don’t be givin’ no g’tee’s. We just bruthas on the superhighway man and there’s a war goin’ on. You gotta beef you bring it to us don’ go hot mouthin out which yo’ chatroom niggas or we find that trash man and if it get back to us then we got some muscle gonna bring some heat amd yo can’t be hidin’ behind ya momma’s ipad. Man you’ll be wishin’ you were back at day school doin yo’ touch typin class. You hearin me? That’s how we do.