Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Free Cone Day

Started a new job this week, thanks to the lovely Monique Kawecki. Due to unforseen circumstances I made the decision to quit my job due to my wack-job , stress head boss. Picture this: a short dwarf like man who constantly paces up and down rubbing his bald head. When it concerns that man, there is no more room for niceties.

Anyway, fast forward to the later week, ie this week, Mon and I are now co-workers at Square Mile Real Estate. The pay is better, the hour lunch is paid for and the location is right in the heart of East London.

Today was Ben and Jerry's free cone day. Our hour lunch break, which in-turn was a hour and a half break, due to wrong routes and much treking, was everything you could ask for and much more.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Amsterdam - A lot of Cheese

The Dam

Last weekend I went to Amsterdam. It was ammmmmazing.

Amsterdam isn’t one of those cities jam packed with so many monuments and tourists sights, but one in which walking around + a visit to Anne Frank’s is considered suffice.

Late Friday afternoon we arrived dumped our shit at the Stay Okay Hostel and went straight back to the city centre to a little bar called ‘Beer and Babes’.

Before I continue I believe a recap of the situation is in order. That previous week it had been my good friend Bale’s b’day. This was his ‘celebratory trip’, and I decided to hop on board, no pun intended.

After I had purchased my ticket, little pieces of the impending weekend were slowly revealed. One of the most important pieces being that Bale was going over with a whole football team of boys who were playing against the Dutch on Saturday. I decided to take this information by my stride and let go of any inhibitions. After all, it was Amsterdam.

Although a couple of the players did make an appearance at Beer and Babes the group slowly dispersed leaving me with Bale and two other guys, one of which lived in Amsterdam, thus making our night out, one of great ease.

After leaving the bar we came to our next destination; Banana Bar. If you have a dirty mind then yes whatever images are playing in your mind right at this very moment are probably spot on. For an entry fee of 45 euros we were each rewarded with an hour’s worth of drinking and a bar full of ‘bar women’, and I use this term very loosely, whose ability to engage the crowd of men was most likely due to their lack of clothing and ability to contort themselves in one too many comprising positions, rather than their bartending skills.

In normal everyday circumstances I would not be caught dead in a nudie bar accompanied by an entourage of men, however, Amsterdam is not a normal everyday circumstance.

At one time, I was sitting next to a guy whose busy hands were feeling their way round the contours and … crevices of the eastern European ‘dancer’ perched in front of him. Other instruments including; dildos, bananas and pens were introduced to an area, half of them shouldn’t be. But if legibly writing a ‘Happy B’day Cale’ note with the muscles of your Nether regions isn’t a talent ... then I don’t know what is.

Good thing about this episode of the night was that no camera photography was permitted inside. Therefore no photographic evidence will ever surface that could land me in some very serious waters. On the other hand, on the brisk walk to our final destination, copious amounts of alcohol led to what can only be described as a loose tongue in front of a lingering camera. Sort of like a taxi cab confession, sans the taxi and in which I am fully aware of the camera’s presence.

After our 'end of drinks' announcement we downed what we had left at the bottom of our glasses and swiftly left the premises, making our way to the club Escape.

It’s a surreal game that these girls play. But then I guess this is hardly a game to them, just life. I commended one of the girls on her seeming confidence in herself and her body. I mean anyone who is willing to stick a face full of their arse in your face has got to be pretty comfortable with their body. Her response was that she was in fact not at all comfortable with her naked exterior and that it was just what she had to do. To what? Pay the rent, feed her children, feed her addiction? Could be anyone of those things.

After spending an hour in that place, the girls seem more like machines than females. To analyze this situation too much, would be to rape it of its purpose and what it means to the vibe of Amsterdam. So I won’t. But from a sociological perspective it’s very interesting to see the way in which the girls behave and the reactions they provoke. After placing a dildo on a guy’s head, the girl announced ‘dickhead’ in her thick eastern European accent. And that is just a G-Rated example of one of the many things she seemed so habitual about that she may as well have done them with her eyes closed.

Walking through the red light district is another interesting experience. Each window will reveal a tiny room in which the girl inside is standing in her underwear looking to the outside world, for her next customer. None of the girls really try, there is no pouting or dancing in order to lure a contender, half of them have more tires than the Honda Civic I left back in Australia. They blankly stare out the window, impartial to the stares back from both males and females.

At the night’s end Cale and I jumped in a taxi hostel bound, while the two other guys decided to go window shopping. Long story short, one guy chose a girl who he thought could tickle his fancy, pun intended, while the other went next door. Apparently between standing outside for ‘15 mins’ (his words not mine) or getting intimate with the girl in the window, the later sounded more appealing, if only to stay warm. Yea right.

Saturday we walked all around the centre and I went to visit Anne Frank’s house. How those people were not discovered in that massive house hidden away by a book case escapes me. I almost got hit by a bike on more than one occasion, (more people ride bikes than drive cars) and was handed a Scientology leaflet by a mute man bearing a white mask, that had a cigarette hanging out of the mouth hole. This place is the Mecca for sneakers and hi-tops. They’re not only found on the shelves but on the feet of some very sexy Dutchmen .. and women. Oh and there is a hell of a lot of cheese in that city.

Another thing I was eager to try was mushrooms, so I bought a box of the Colombian mushrooms from a souvenir shop and made my way back to the hostel. I found myself divulging more than was intended and directing my responses one too many inches away from where Cale was sitting. Then the floor became a sea of colour .. and I was stranded in my boat.

I really enjoyed doing Amsterdam with boys. I don’t think I would have experienced the same Amsterdam, had I of gone with girls. I definitely feel I saw the Dam, up close and personal. Oh and of course weed is very accessible and very dry.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Midnight Juggers - Encore une fois

In two days time, Midnight Juggers leave Europe for their North American Tour, so in order to go out with a bang, they had two (sorta) impromtu gigs this week. Apparently they were industry nights.

Monday they played at Durrr where entry was only 4 pounds and Tues they were at Cargo! Unfortunately for me the recruitment process was a tad stilted and I only rocked up to the Cargo gig. Fortunately for me, I had found people who were more than willing to attend the shin-dig and indulge in groupie behaviour. okay except for Dan, but he was quite obliging and managed to keep a smile on his dial while Felcity and I did our thang.

The boys stuck around after their show, which was good. I waited for the flock of girls to detach themselves from Vincent and then made my way over to chat about idle things. After being so disillusioned by our last meeting I was pleasantly surprised to discover that not only did he remember who I was but we have now reached the point in our ‘relationship’, (very loose term) in which we greet by kissing each other on both cheeks. We talked about this and that and the Myspace bulletin they had sent out. It stated they had 2 free tickets to the Cargo gig that night, all you had to do was tell them why you should win, so I did. However, in the end it was the record company EMI and not the boys who had sent out the bulletin.

Although we had a chat, I still stand by my belief that Vincent is socially awkward and that the guy who blew a kiss to the desperado who stroked his shoe during their performance was not the Vincent standing before me.

Someone who is not socially inept is ex-Valentino, Daniel Stricker. Not only did he willingly talk to my friend Felicity but he later came back to chat to us and comment on my Bumblebeez tee which I had scored from the band’s art exhibition in Shoreditch.

The following is the competition email I had wrote earlier:

So I'm coming to see you guys tonight, regardless of whether I 'win' this competition. I was going to come see you last night, but, sometimes recruiting people is a major effort. I don't know if this is the reason why I should win, but inadvertedly stalking you around the world has got to stand for something. I'm from melbourne, went to click click, onesixone, st jeromes, your gig at prince and everything in between. At onesix I met Vincent and stamped him with a b'day stamp. Then I moved to France and couldn't resist going to Paris for the Les Inrocks festival, whose line up was one to good to pass up. Spoke to Vincent again who remembered me because of the stamp's long lasting ink. Then I moved to London, where I coincedently ended up at Fabric the same night as you guys. In hindsight, it's probably not that much of a coincedence considering Cut Copy was playing, and what's Cut Copy without the Midnight Juggers, even if you weren't performing. Spoke to Vincent again who remembered me, but got that 'that's that stalker girl' vibe from him, so I swiftly departed the conversation. Last time I saw you guys was at Scala, you were awesome and Busy P is a genius behind the decks.

I'll see you guys tonight.

Friday, 4 April 2008

Thursday nights are the new black

The plethora of Thursday night free events never ceases to amaze me. Last night there was heaps of art exhibitions on. The night began with a touch of Phil Frost, but this wasn't just any exhibition it was a l'il bit posher the rest.

Our choice of alcohol was not limited to beer in a bottle, but beer or a vanilla cocktail. After choosing the cocktail the first sip was one of sheer delight. Okay well my facial expression may not have convincingly portrayed sheer delight but this was only because when hit straight on with an (unexpected) double shot of tequilla a smile isn't the first thing that is pasted on your face. Despite the sour puss face, on the inside I was all smiles. Anyway back to the appreciation of Phil Frost and his artistic extensions. This is a guy that uses all sort of mediums in order to create his master-pieces. From afar it looked like a carefully constructed canvas-o-paint. But up close you could see leaves, rusty pressed nails and other odd bits of assortment.

Concrete Hermits

After an hour or so of Phil Frost appreciation we swiftly moved on to the regualr spot, Concrete Hermit. I am ashamed to admit that I don't even remember the name of the artist, but I do remember the shaper, colour and texture of the bucket 'o ice that was cradling the frosted beer bottles. Upon the hasty consumption of the first bottle, I collected another on the way out and we continued the crawl to our last and final spot; Cargo.

A wide load 'o Cargo

This bar/club was the home of two events; the first being the launch of a book dedicated to graffiti artist Banksy and the impact his 'art' has had on his home town Bristol. I didn't see one book when I arrived so instead we gazed at the live graffiti art and took sips from our beer, complements of the Hermits at Concrete. After a bounty of free gifts; ie. a King Apparel plastic bag w/ a t-shirt and condom we followed out noses and landed at a Chinese Buffet.

Fuck You Mr Woo

£4.95 got us exactly what you'd expect. Lots 'o fatty shiiit.
Mon managed to force it down, but later regretted it.


Saturday night DJ Steve Aoki -co-founder of indie label Dim Mak (which broke bands such as The Kills, Pretty Girls Make Graves, The Von Bondies, Mystery Jets and Whitey in the US), is DJing at 'Be At' at the Camden Stables.


Yes I know he has a rich dad and his sister is the model/actress Devon Aoki -she was in that shitty popcorn movie Fast and the Furious-, but he's friends with LA night-life photographer Mark 'the Cobrasnake' and Mark's 10 year old girlfriend Cory Kennedy, so he must be cool.

Anyway, Steve is the one to the left. I could have put up a more appropriate photo, ie one not advertising some magazine that this post has absolutely nothing to do with, but the pic was just too cool to pass up.


Saturday night was a rather successful soiree. We waited an hour in line, it rained 5 of the 60 mins and we still managed to get in for a discounted price. It was Proud Gallery's third night since opening. After the Camden fire engulfed not only the Hawley Arms (a fav celebrity pub), part of the Camden Markets and the Proud Gallery location, it was time to pick up shop and start again. And that is exactly what Proud did.

The place is literally a 200 year old horse hospital with stables et al. For a pretty fee, patrons can reserve stables and for the whole night, can put dibs on every single spot in the stable.

When DJ Kid Millionaire, or DJ Steve Aoki took the the tables it was a rather nonchalance affair, somewhere between the dizzy beat and the sound of 'modems making love' he had found his spot in the booth. This particular booth was not the one standing tall on stage, but the smaller one tucked away in the back left-hand corner. Very nonchalance indeed. While he was doing his thang and his VJs were doing their thing, there seemed to be a growing crowd of individuals trying to make their way into the next room. That was kind of confusing; at first we thought we were missing out on something bigger and better, but quashed any concerns with a quick inspection.

There wasn't a massive crowd for Aoki and a lot of the people in the room didn't seem to care about the Asian guy makin' the beats. His playlist wasn't bad, but it wasn't rad either. He played Benny Banassi 'Satisfaction' (...) and a hell of a lot of Justice.. Lucky for me I am completely smitten by this duo.

Overall, he knew how to mash and create smooth transitions between songs with great ease, but if you want to call yourself a DJ these qualities should be the make or break, right?

So there was nothing amazing about his performance. But I will commend him on being a gracious host.

What are you looking at?

My photo
I am more than prone to monologues; however, this is solely due to the manner in which they compliment a witty anecdote and their ability to resemble concrete evidence when it is so obviously lacking. I often wish I could emulate that aloof character who coolly stands in the corner smiling mysteriously as if she has a secret. However, I fear resisting the temptation to involve myself in other people’s conflicts and responding through body language rather than verbose banter may come across as contrived and arrogant. And, I am not willing to take that chance.

Ye Faithful