Saturday, June 29, 2013

Superman - The BatMan of Steel

I saw Batm-I mean Superman yesterday.
Okay so, whatever, Christopher Nolan (of the new Batman movies) helped write it and stuff. It's NOT Batman. I'm just joking guys seriously.
It is very intense. And earnest though. Like a teenager wrote some fan fiction and sent it in and they were like "great! don't edit it!"
Obviously they're going for a darker, re-imagined Superman to keep up with these times of terrorism and excess and... bad writing.
The new Superman - Man Of Steel is not as awful as you imagine it though, it's fucking terrible, it's fucking awesome. Oh my god I'm so confused.
Because there are genuine bits of insight into Superman/Kal-el/Clark Kent that are pretty nice. From somewhere near the beginning of the film (about an hour in), you see young Clark struggling to NOT punch the bullies and having to deal with the oversensitivity of his errr... senses.
Superman is painted as a genuinely lost kid, a bit sad... :(
However the writing doesn't tell you that. It's all the acting of the new guy playing Superman, Henry Cavill. Who is fucking gorgeous. Jesus what a fucking specimen of a man. #peopleiwouldturngayfor.

And the movie is a loving mess of spectacular special effects and things falling and SO MANY PEOPLE DYING.
What happened to Superman saving shit?
It's 9/11 to the nth degree and nobody seems to give a fuck. Let alone the Man Of Steel, dealing with all his "issues", he's too busy to save anyone except maybe Lois Lane (and a couple of dudes on an oil rig at one point).
Yet it is so beautiful to watch. If this was a video game it would fucking amazing.
But it's not. It's a movie. And they explain and explain and explain all this stuff and I kind of just wanted them to stop explaining stuff.

What's troubling is that, I still kinda dug it. The new Lois Lane is really a nothing character, but to me easily the most stunning Lois Lane. So I guess for eye candy, this Superman is the equivalent of Friends With Benefits - there's nothing really there, just a chance to check out some really hot people. In Man Of Steel's case they're both secy and there's massive explosions.
At one point all of us in the cinema cracked up laughing because the characters punched each other into a satellite and then threw it at each other.
For real. Shit's crazy.

See Superman for the art design, the epic and ridiculous battles and the absolute excess. One review I watched last night said "Superman used to stand for the American dream, the American conscious".
I would argue that this movie, with it's violence, bad writing, underwhelming plot and Russel Crowe leaping on Avatar birds, might just be the American conscious, in this day and age, after all.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Self-Conscious Man

Oh no!

Gentle readers, Self-Conscious Man has hidden himself beneath The Bridge of Doubt!
His back and forth pacing is making the very ego shake!
What shall we do?

Ah ha!

Let us call upon Self-Deprecation Dude to save the day!

His ironic jokes and self-aware abilities will surely defeat Self-Conscious Man in his lair!

It is working!
Self-Conscious Man is laughing!
But is it enough?
Or is it too much!


He has laughed in on himself until he has disappeared up his own arse, creating a black-hole of self!
A black-hole of ego and neurosis!
This nexus of thought is working inside out to create a monster of terrible proportions!

Fruit cake! We must have fruit cake!

We must have sweets!

Temper the madman before he becomes a demonic offspring of depression and guilt!

Has it worked?
Did our cakes and chocolates, thrust with all our might into the black pool of woe... did they work?

Yes. Self-Conscious Man has emerged from beneath the bridge. With crumbs on his lap.

Quick. Give him some cookies.
And tell him he's doing just fine.

Gentle readers we have diverted disaster for another day.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Roar Poets - Tour Diary 2 - Nimbin

Depending on your experience with this small town in the hills of northern NSW, the very name has made your decision for you based on what I'm going to say next. You will either be disbeilieving and write it off entirely, or you will nod your head and go "yep". I doubt anyone will be somewhere in between.
Nimbin is the spiritual home of performance poets.
There I said it.
Now, like I said before, many of you will go "huh?" and shake your head, smiling at the thought of a bunch of stoners having a base of strong performance poetry.

This is the place that began the Nimbin Performance Poetry World Cup 11 years ago. Nimbin is the original stomping ground for David Hallet and Robin Archbold. 2 poets who still stand strong as premiere performers in Australian poetics. In fact, Archie founded the cup, David won it in its first year. So there ya go.
But you will still probably shake your head and go "no, bloody stoners trippin out to words I bet..."
And you're right. Kinda.
We arrived in Nimbin on a chilly Thursday's eve to find Gail M. Clarke, co-founder and current bad-arse boss lady of NPPWC scurrying about collecting raffle money, organising sound, and generally chatting to people lounging at The Oasis Cafe, Nimbin's home of poetry nights. What this lady does is phenomenal. And yes, the joints were rolling thick and fast and the murmuring locals and silent backpackers all drank their coffees and teas with red-eyed abundance.
But, unlike Armidale, which had no idea what it was in for, they were ALL there for poetry. It's what Nimbin loves. Cultivated over the past 11 or more years this small town thrives on words. Big, small, political, humorous, love, hate and everything in between and outside the box, Nimbin is an underrated poetry Mecca.
Martin, Angela and I knew that, respected it, and gave the best performances we've possibly ever done. It was hot, frothing, loving, aching, potent poetics.
And the crowd loved it.
If you wanna get into the stoner thing, fine. But you're ignoring what Nimbin Poetry's really all about. The superficiality of Nimbin is that it's a place to get high. But anyone who's been to the NPPWC knows that Nimbin is a place to perform to a beautiful crowd. Roaring, cheering, laughing, crying. We took them there on Thursday night. But only because they were so willing to go with us.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Dear Kanye - sorry I mean GOD - how are you?
Your new album is g.o.o.d. so I assume you must be?
I liked your performance on SNL
Are you actually that cranky?
I sometimes wonder how rich people can be so cranky when they're like... really rich...
But you don't have friends do you God?
Being all "ahead of the curve" means people are still stuck around the bend huh?
Well I like your album, so far.
I mean I haven't given it a totally great listen but Black Skinhead is mean.
You do 'mean' well.
And I think you mean well.
Nice one God. New Slaves is great.
People critique everything huh?
I mean, you ARE a bit of a douche-ball-in-a-sack-of-shit-fairy-floss-maker when you're doing anything except make music. But I like that you know that. I assume you know that right? That you'll always be one of the greatest artists of our time? But not a great person?

How's Kim? She looks good. I saw her last night, and today, and on the radio, in the magazines. She had the baby the other day and she's already dropped 20 kg! I can't wait to read about how she did it tomorrow.
Don't you guys have any secrets?
Like that you enjoy when you first stick your toes into some Ugg boots? Before the sweat starts to clam em up? Do you think about what it would be like to head-butt an orangutang? I do. Or do you have a particular star that always seems to grab your attention? I saw a grasshopper today, do you notice grasshoppers God? Grasshoppers will never buy your album God. Never.
Do they still count?

I'm going to listen to it again and do some writing.
I can be God too.
I can be a better God than you.
And then our fans can have wars.
I mean GOD!
You are not God.
I don't even know if there is God, but I guess if there was a God and it was you that would probably be more believable. At least you're DEFINITELY fucked up. Not like this "perfect God" that keeps being spouted at us. I'd rather believe in a fucked up God that wears all his neurosis on his sleeve (even if he doesn't see it) than some... urgg douche that is always fucking right even when he's wrong... (satan? meant to do that. sunday? meant to do that. see how everything's fucked? meant to do that to test your faith... yep... meant to do everything...)

I like your album not-God-Kanye.
Keep up the good work.
Have a break now. Write a poem. Go for a swim. Eat a biscuit. It'll be good for you.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Roar Poets Tour - Diary 1 - Armidale

Armidale is cold. I forgot all about that. After living there for a few years I'd forgotten that the beautiful rolling hills and rocks sit beneath a layer of frost so sharp when you speak the air slices your tongue.
But we got there... with our multi-layered pants and jumpers and socks...

There's no-one in Armidale you know? Unless you count the uni. But I'm not even sure if the uni counts itself as part of Armidale. I know when I was a student there we could exist pretty well without any form of town contact... that's either good or bad depending on how hungry you are/n't or how stoned you are/n't.

But I programmed the tour to included Armidale for one reason: it's the beginning of things.

It was in Armidale I really learnt to rap, to write, to produce... and to make friends.

So here I was again, after all these years, showing my art to the people who had supported me from the beginning.
Sure, it wasn't ME they were supporting. It was their sons and friends who I happened to be in a band with. But I took what I could and still ran with it. It still mattered.

We arrived in Armidale to find that only a few of the flyers had been handed out, the radio station wouldn't get back to us, and the community group we'd been in contact with for months, desperately trying to get any form of workshops or community connections, were STILL not taking us seriously, or just not... I dunno...
what do you call it when people don't get back to you and then give you backhanded support at the last minute?...
On top of that we'd been told the place would've emptied out for school holidays...
It was fucking frustrating and a bit like being punched in the guts.

So when people showed up to the gig. When a room full of people watched and listened intently. When a table actually said they were here for poetry... Well suffice to say I was pretty happy. When the people who had been there to support their family and friends said "wow, it's great to see what you've been up to all these years, fantastic", I felt like I still mattered. Which is a nice feeling. And to be perfectly down and depressingly honest probably the first time I've felt that this year.

And BrokenWord were fantastic. It was them that most people were there to see, and they did not disappoint. What was amazing was that Martin Ingle and Angela Willock kept people in the room after the BrokenWord boys had done their thing. The strength and raw honesty of their performances kept people gripped. The 90% of the room who weren't there for poetry were all of a sudden deeply invested in the poetry. The bar... the fucking bar where everyone milled and talked and yelled drunkedly fell silent on more than one occasion in all of our sets.

And being the organiser and facilitator of the event I was worried we wouldn't be able to make any money to pay the venue hire or even ourselves... but we did. Yes we lost money still. Fuel and food dents finances dramatically but hey... whatever... we got at least one free meal out of it...  and the venue hire. And we were all pretty clear from the beginning that this would not be a money making venture... it would be gypsy survival. It would be rolling with the punches and making the most of it. It would be: Happiness = people + fires + conversations.
Which we had plenty of on Saturday night after the "slab" gig...

So now on to Nimbin. The Oasis Cafe. 7pm Thursday night 20 June.
The Roar Poets Tour is alive. It's a thing now. Not just a few words online or a FB event.
And we're excited and enjoying the taste so far.
Sure Armidale was cold. But if the rest of the shows end up being half as warm-hearted as Armidale then I think we'll be pretty happy.