16. Gooch Palms, Bits of Shit, NoBunny, The Tote 1/2/2013
As a vertically challenged person in a band room, my natural instinct is to go to the front of the band room. I did this only to find that the lead singer/guitarist of the Gooch Palms totally naked. Last time I caught this band, we only got to see his balls. Antics aside, this band has pop songs, delivered by an energetic pair who at best contrast each other. She with her smouldering cool looks and keys, him with his balls hanging out, guitar in tow and at times making noises with the Theremin. Bits of Shit did their punky thing that everyone loves so much. NoBunny played with an American guy called Elvis Christ, and had an Australian drummer and bassist. Together, they were highly entertaining. NoBunny has songs, and those songs are great pop songs. He may perform in his underpants, a stinky jacket and an even stinkier bunny mask but this guy is somehow totally believable.
17. Pink Tiles, House Party 2/2/2013
I hear their story is this: Two 30 somethings learn some instruments last year, and started writing songs last August. They enlisted the help of a brother drummer, a Casio wielding guitarist, a traveling Frenchman and this is the fruit of their labour. I hope they play a gig in a real venue.
18. Gooch Palms, NoBunny, Town Hall Hotel North Melbourne courtesy of Wooly Bully, 3/2/2013
Caught the last two songs of Gooch Palms, and Nobunny does it again, but this time in a smaller venue. Sweat flies everywhere, and something smells really bad...
19.No Zu, The Townhouses, Pikelet, Drive Live at PBS, 4/2/2013
I don't ordinarily count these but my gig count is low because I was attending these in some kind of capacity. Pikelet performed with a full band, and it's the best incarnation of her material I've ever heard. Slightly dark, it suits her highly emotive vocal style. The Townhouses from what I can recall is a guy at a keyboard playing poppy stuff but I could have that all wrong. No Zu do that 90's style energetic dance - a little East 17, a little Swoop, with jungle style percussion.
20. Bad Aches, Pronto, Chook Race, Elvis Christ, The Tote 6/2/2013
Everyone this evening delivered a good set, and Elvis Christ played three songs with NoBunny on the skins, then played a cover of Wild Thing dedicated to Reg Presley who died this week.
21. Brothers Grim, The Hello Morning, Pony Face, Drive Live at PBS, 5/2/2013
22. Chook Race, Spencer P Jones and Kim Salmon, UV Race, Drive Live at PBS, 6/2/2013
23. La Bastard, Spinning Rooms, The Meanies at Drive Live at PBS, 7/2/2013
24.King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Fatti Frances, Bits of Shit, Drive Live at PBS, 8/2/2013
25. Coral Lee and Chris Russell's Chickenwalk, The Old Bar, 10/2/2013
Coral's sounding good with her band that features double bass, drums and pedal steel. Chris Russell rock's out and I think this is one of the first time I've heard what sounds like his natural voice. The drummer is an absolute animal and I am in awe of his maraca work.
26. ATP, Westgate Entertainment Centre and Grand Star Reception, Altona 16/2/2013-17/2/2013.
We arrive at this amazing venue in the west-a sporting/recreation/wedding centre, all in one. A triumph of the West, with several spaces for lots of bands, and just off the highway, but there was one major spoiler: the hot, hot sun. It reduced the most hardcore gig goers into much less than that. It meant that I could only spend about 20 minutes at a time seeing bands, fearing I'd faint at a music festival. 20 minutes of Sleepy Sun was long enough to make me realise they weren't for me. It was also enough of Thee Oh Sees who I'd seen only weeks before. Yes this hot heat made me more intolerant than I could ever want to be. It meant that the I could only experience the very loud Swans, for 1/8 of their 2 hour set, and same goes for Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Friends raved about The Dead C, but my attention span had already gone by the My Bloody Valentine which is a real shame because I love warped pop music. The line up was intelligent, but I found that coupled with the heat, this was no fun. It was like a cruel endurance test: all these bands from all over the world, and the venue, although it had its air-conditioned spots, was not equipped to cope with the heat.
Day two was already a better day. The weather was cooler and there were less people. It kicked off with Crime And The City Solution, and I was so grateful to hear songs again. Unfortunately I missed The Drones who curated this day. But I caught Pere Ubu perform The Modern Dance, who were at the very least interesting, but the heat got to my concentration, and I caught Tasmanian band The Stickmen and I found myself in a trance in an air-conditioned space, so this was the first band I saw for an entire set all weekend. I just wish I could remember it now. One band who I could not forget was Beasts Of Bourbon who were my pick of the bunch with their sick, dark songs. Spencer and Kim on guitars. Spencer's playing was divine and I'm sure Kim's was too, I just couldn't hear it. James Baker and Boris Sujdovic were the rhythm section and Tex Perkins owned the stage. In my mind, these guys didn't do anything wrong, and it was a relief to see Kim and Spencer playing on big stages, where they should be anyway. Einsturzende Neubauten, the band that I can't pronounce played, and bought with them an array of strange percussive instruments, and custom made cymbals, and Blixa, serious and humorous in the same moment seemed to charm the audience with this dark, industrial, theatrical style. ATP was an epic experience for perhaps the wrong reasons, but seeing the Beasts of Bourbon in full flight was worth the $256 ticket price - dare I say it.
27. Pink Tiles, Bad Aches, Running Gun Sound, Gaso, 22/2/2013
The Pink Tiles play their first gig ever. The band are sounding better than ever before, but the vocals need a bit of work before they reach their potential. There I said it. Brisbane's Running Gun Sound play next as a three piece. Apparently they're doing an East Coast tour. It's fun garage pop stuff. Bad Aches do their brand of garage punk to round out the evening.
28. Ooga Boogas, GB 23/2/2013
It's been ages [I reckon 5 years] since I last saw this band. I forgot that The Ooga Boogas cover genres/styles and they do it so well, and they do it with humour. Now I remember: I like this band a whole lot. A load of fun.
29. Richie 1250 and the Brides of Christ, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Corner 23/2/2013
Richie 1250 gives all including 3 costume changes during BOC's first Corner gig. I just caught the last moments where Richie ends up on the floor, reinforcing the notion that BOC are a classic outsiders band. When I returned for KGLW, I'm told it's a full house and the place is full of young sweaty dudes and and gals from what appears to be the 'burbs. No matter what you say, they're undoubtedly striking a chord with an audience. Maybe they're hard to recognise because they're so much younger than the rest of us....
30. Tex Perkins and the Dark Horses, The Spiegeltent, 26/2/2013
Tex is a great singer, and the band are a group of awesome musicians. This gig exceeded my expectations.