This time last Sunday night was I was blissing out to one band in particular that I recall from early years of High School. Custard and in particular one song, Girls Like That (Don’t Go For Guys Like Us), I can’t tell you how many times I taped that song when I was younger. It was number 3 in the Triple J Hottest 100 for 1998. I was in Year 8. The start of a few years at high school where I was one of a few who listened to Triple J and an even smaller few who listened to Triple Zed. I’ve got having older brothers to thank in part for that. Musically, I was more of a Switzerland, though for all intensive purposes I still am – we’ll leave that however to a later discussion.
Above is Custard at The Hi-Fi as they took part in a flood relief concert called Float On along with other 90s greats; Regurgitator and Screamfeeder as well as some more contemporary acts in the likes of Kate Miller-Heidke, Gentle Ben and His Sensitive Side, Hungary Kids of Hungary and Little Scout.
Float On was one of the best mutli headlined shows I’ve been to in years. For so many people in the audience it was a total throwback to the days when they were younger. I heard someone say, that they’ve never seen so many 30-40 year old men in a moshpit. It was a sight. It was a common thread amongst the “contemporary acts” in their banter to talk about how this was such a teenage dream to be playing alongside the likes of Custard, the “Gurge” and Screamfeeder. It was almost like an episode of Recovery, which I really wish was still around because triple j tv, you’re just not in the same league.
Back to the music though because until we get that time travel sorted out there is only so much one can natter on about the past.
Custard – Girls Like That.
and some more 1998. Regurgitator – Polyester Girl
Quite possibly my favourite Custard song. Music is Crap. Oh gosh, let me tell you I had a smile that stretched from one ear to the other when they started this song.
Totally how I’m feeling right about now. I’m about to head out to the deck and roll Sunshine Balls (Apricot balls but I add dried pineapple and mango in as well as dried apricots). I rolled my Rum Balls last night – all 175 of them and I only ate 2 whilst doing that!
How is that for a title?
Last Sunday night, I went to something incredible. The Mountain Goats were back in town to deliver a concert that was promised at the last show in 2008. This was to be an epic show delivered to those of us who endured but loved the December 2008 show which saw the crowd and Peter Peter Hughes singing most of the songs because John Darnielle was too ill to sing.
I was quite a fan girl and wore my Babylon Springs tour t-shirt which I re-fashioned a few hours earlier so it now had more of a boat neck and shorter sleeves – way more comfy then it was originally and a lot less neck strangling now by said shirt. The old tour shirt coupled with my front row spot in front and just a bit to the left of PPH would yet again cement me as the fan girl that I am. It was my fifth show. I thought it was my only fourth but then I went through tour date archives and yep last Sunday was show #5 for me. By far, the most times I have seen an international act.
The support act was Crayon Fields. I don’t know what really to say about them but I am sure there could have been a better support act picked. I didn’t mind a few of the songs but I don’t think I would be rushing out to see them again.
And really the crowd was here to hear and see the promised Holy Grail. To which after playing the first song, we get the obligatory, “Hi, we’re the Mountain Goats” and then this, “Ladies and gentlemen of Brisbane, I owe you one and youâ€™re about to get it”. Big exceptions were held by a few people I spoke to in the crowd. I however, learnt some time ago even if something big is promised to you, not to expect 200% as your hopes will be dashed if you only get 150%. I was expecting a long show with lots of old favourites, some obscure ones, some new things and talking and story telling. I had a list of some songs I expected to be on the set list on my head and I got the majority of those songs on my wishful set list. I got my 199%. I was quite happy.
I had a few observations on the crowd though. The crowd seemed to be a lot younger this time than last. I remember the last few shows I would say I felt like I was one of the younger people there, this time though I would say half the crowd looked like they were between 18-21 and not the 25-35 I remember last time. There didn’t seem to be quite the same buzz in the crowd, the sing-a-longs were a lot quieter than I recall. Maybe I’m just recalling my younger days too fondly.
I did have a gripe with a fellow crowd member and I was “oh, this close” to turning to her and telling her to close her mouth. Now I have no problem whatsoever with people singing along when it is a sing-a-long song like say This Year or Going to Georgia but singing along to songs when no one else in the crowd is and for those round you, your singing is louder than JD’s, yeah I have a problem with that.
Back to the topic at hand and that is music, Mountain Goats music, those magic words with that magic music that makes all those other things fall away into the beer stained floor boards.
What wondrous words were spoken/sung/shouted you ask? Well following is the titles of those songs.
1 Samuel 15:23
Old College Try
Your Belgian Things
Letter From Belgium
The Day the Aliens Came
Color In Your Cheeks
The Monkey Song
Going to Georgia
Ezekiel 7 And The Permanent Efficacy Of Grace
Houseguest (Nothing Painted Blue cover)
If you know me extremely well or have listened and actually really listened to me babble on about the Mountain Goats at one point or another which in my mental tally probably equates to probably zero people. You will see one song in that set which might make you smile at the thought that Helen would have really loved finally seeing that song live.
That song would be The Monkey Song and the most remarkable thing about seeing that song live, is that I requested it and JD picked my request….. Oh yeah my request, I say. I must actually confess that it was my second request as JD vetoed my first request of The Sign. He was telling us a tale of a concert he had gone to when he was 7 or thereabouts and the singer had asked everyone to yell out requests and he would pick one. JD to this day wants to know if he actually heard a song and picked one or just picked one himself. During this the entire crowd were yelling songs. Then there was a moment of silence and JD leaned over to where I was standing and asked what song I wanted. I bashfully asked for The Sign and he said something along the lines of “no, something else?” Then I said “The Monkey Song”, he said “what?” then I said “Monkey in the Basement”. He stood up and presented us with the below little piece of magic which someone else every so kindly recorded and put on youtube.
I didn’t get a tour shirt as I had planned because it was black. I don’t like black t-shirts, I have one black t-shirt and that is my Breeders t-shirt because frankly it was the only thing on offer. The shirt was pretty cool and you can see a picture of it here if you care (I love the added post-it notes)
I did however get a poster. (268/365)
Do you know how many concerts I’ve been to at The Zoo and failed at getting a poster? Many, many times, this is the only poster I’ve managed to score and it currently is blu-tacked to the wall above my bed quite happily reminding me of all my past tMG memories.
Till next time, I enjoy the Mountain Goats on the stage at The Zoo (because frankly that is their Brisbane stomping ground though a Troubie show would be kinda cool). I leave you with this. If you were at the show, you will get a laugh and know what this means, if you weren’t well just enjoy it for what it is and enjoy it for what it isn’t
Easter, that glorious four day weekend. It’s no longer Summer and the air is getting slightly colder. Hot Cross Buns, Easter Eggs and all other goodies. I was speaking to Mum on Wednesday night and she mentioned that she was going with NPAQ to a place near Tenterfield for the weekend. A few minutes later, I too had plans for the long weekend. Less than 24hrs later I joined all other holidaying cars on the highway and was heading south west. Unlike the rest of the camp, I had tickets for Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club on Sunday night and of course had to work on Monday so it was sort of more like a regular three day long weekend for me. However, it was in granite country and that is a weekend in a good place.
Growing up, we spent a lot of camping time in Girraween and the granite country surrounding it. Granite is by no means a kind rock; it rips your skin to shreds, you get granite impressions in your skin from where you have sat/leant against the rock, when it is worn by water over the years it becomes insanely slippery. It’s a rock of many personas. Some people have pants with knee patches, or cardigans with elbow patches, as children my younger brother and I had shorts with bottom patches made out of canvas. Shorts perfect for playing on granite.
Anyway back to this weekend just passed. As I was leaving a day early, we went down in two cars. Mum and another lady, Fiona in one and myself in the other. We stopped at a servo in Warwick for dinner. I had a tropical burger, it was such a large burger that I had to eat the patty separately!
You see that skewer through the burger? Yep, that is holding the thing together!
Quite a little while later, we pulled off the Mt Lindesay Highway a little south of the “Historical Village of Boonoo Boonoo” to our camp site for the weekend. The tent was quickly put up and bodies tucked themselves into sleeping bags after a long day.
Friday was to be a gentle day. A drive to Basket Swamp, walking round the top of the falls, then walking down to the bottom of the falls and going “Cripes, these are some falls and that is a lot of water over those falls”. The last section of the road in is 4wd only. I was the only female driver and the youngest driver by … well to put it one way, the other drivers are in all the range to be older enough to be my father or grandfather. That was an interesting experience…. Messages over the radio advising of approaching cars, passing cars, holes, cattle and everything else.
At the top of the falls, someone discovered these cool water pipes. These are pipes/tunnels/holes that spurt water out of the rock.
Looking down the Basket Swamp gully from the top of the falls.
and this is Basket Swamp Falls.
Then it was time for lunch, some pulled out the chairs and enjoyed their spread at the turning circle at the end of the 4wd track, others such as myself went back out to the top of the falls to enjoy lunch there.
On the drive out we stopped to look at an old mining site and took a walk up to the Timbarra Trig Point. The ladder up to the actual trig point has been taken down due to well founded safety concerns so no 360Â° view to share but still there were plenty of sights to see.
And that was Friday. Back at camp of course there was happy hour and then half a dinner since we had all eaten too much at happy hour. I made pikelets with caramel Top’N’Fill for dessert and snacks for Saturday.
On the way in I “found” an Easter Egg on a cairn ….. I left it though for the party that was following us ….
We had a very quick walk in, came across the rangers so had a chat to them. Then it was up the granite.
After a break for morning tea, we headed to the entrance of the cave. A few people upon seeing the entrance decided not to continue on so a party of 9 headed in.
We wiggled, moved and twisted our bodies in a hundred different ways to squeeze through holes.
We came across this glow worm cave which was pretty cool. There were about five or six worms active and lots of threads. This is a photo that Mum took, you can see the threads hanging off the “ceiling”. Click the photo to view larger.
Another space in the cave
Inside a large space in the cave
A photo that Mum took just after I popped out of the opening which put us in the space in the above photos.
Some photos of people coming through that squeeze.
With only a few more squeezes to go, Mum broke out a bag of Easter Eggs here to share round.
The last squeeze was quite a challenge, it involved getting one knee up behind your backside and the other in front of your chest and then turning your body 90 odd degrees and reaching for a hand hole and then just hauling yourself up and out…. Fun times.
Then it was time to bag the summit, take some video which I will upload later. Back down to the flatish part of the slab where we had morning tea to now have lunch, more exploring of granite and discussion with other walkers of other caves. Then it was time to head through the bush and down off the rock and to walk out.
We had a fairly quick walk out which was really good. I was quite tempted to trail run the last 3km but decided to be a good girl and stay with the group. Some of us took a little detour up and over a slab which was beside the trail at one point. It was a glorious slab.
Coming up the detour slab
Coming over the top. Granite mmmm.
Granite, Gums and Clouds, 259/365.
When we got back on the real track we passed the border sign.
Then well a little while later we were back at the cars. Then it was back to camp to wash, relax, eat and most importantly make Chocolate Mousse for dessert.
A pack of UHT cream, a pack of instant chocolate mousse mix and a little bit extra milk made up on powder and then start whisking with a fork. A little while later you get the picture above, let it sit in the coolest spot you can find whilst you have tea. Then enjoy that sweet glorious chocolate.
That was Saturday…. Tomorrow would see me heading back to Brisbane.
Sunday morning, I packed up, had breakfast and collected Easter Eggs as various people went round camp handing out eggs.
Went round the camp site saying my farewells and then at just about exactly 0830 I drove out. I decided to take the scenic route home via the Mt Lindesay road and quite enjoyed it, especially because I found this beauty.
Woodenbong Public Hall, 260/365. Oh that design.
I arrived home a little while after 1pm, had a bite to eat, unpacked and then conked out for a few hours sleep before the magic that would be Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club. The Concert Hall was fullish but by no means sold out. I had bought my tickets the day they were released; I was smack bang in the middle six rows back. It was pretty much what I had expected but by no means would I say it was amazing. Featuring two of the members from the 1997 album, the rest of the Orquesta is a collection of it seems rotating musicians who are to a degree cashing in on that famous name. Whilst I enjoyed just about every moment of the concert, it did seem quite often that the musicians were just going through the paces and quite possibly would have liked to have been elsewhere. Typically a live performance is 100 times better than listening to the album as very rarely does that “special buzz” make it through to the recording. I had expected a lot more of a buzz in the live music.
The gig had good parts and parts that could have been better. Part of the problem I think is the venue for the concert. Whilst the Concert Hall is a nice venue, it was not a wise venue choice for a bunch of musicians making music that is designed for dancing. The Hi-Fi, The Tivoli or The Zoo would all have been much, much, much better venue choices as people could have danced and as a result of that I think the musicians would have been able to put more buzz and excitement into the sound. Also there was absolutely no merchandise…. ????? I thought for sure there would have at least been the flogging of some t-shirts and the original Buena Vista Social Club album and movie. It seems I was not the only person who felt like this either.
Monday was work in the morning, visiting a number of grocery stores picking up half price Easter chocolate for a project and making a big batch pumpkin and red lentil dahl in the afternoon.
Very much looking forward to the physical release of Volume Two next week, in the mean time I’m loving the album streamed on NPR. I don’t think I can count how many times I’ve listened to Volume One this past year!