Here are some odds and ends from the LA frontline. Before my plane took off from Melbourne a young boy in front of me said quite matter of fact: “There’s sparks coming out of the engine”. He did not scream this. He did not whisper it the way young children inform you that they “See dead people”. He stated it the way someone says, “The sky is blue, grass is green and oh, I think my plane is about to explode”.
Brilliant. I really love Australians sometimes.
Here is a conversation I had at my local Starbucks. Yes, that’s right, my local Starbucks. Admittedly I’ve only been there three times but they remember my name, what I drink and how long I’ve been here. I can go to Babka on Brunswick Street every day for four weeks solid and the waitresses look at me as if to say, “For fuck’s sake, you’re here again? I’m pretty certain I’m hot so I don’t have time to serve you.”
My main man is Danny. He’s a young black American who took an interest in Australia after watching the TV series “The Pacific” I am not making that up. This is the conversation we had yesterday.
“So which part of Australia are you from?” asked Danny.
“I’m originally from Adelaide but I’ve lived in Melbourne for the last nine years.”
“Adelaide is South Australia, right?”
“It certainly is.”
“You had some crazy murders there.”
“We like to think of them as creative.”
“Sheee-it. Aussie humour man, it’s the best.”
I laugh like I meant it as a joke.
End of scene
I managed to score a ticket to the final Faith No More concert in America. The crowd was made up of guys dressed in Black Sabbath t-shirts; women who made a lot of effort to look like they’d made no effort and one man dressed as the superhero The Flash but only after he’d decided he wouldn’t be the fastest man on earth in a foot race; instead he’d be the fastest man to the buffet table. The concert had MC Selene Luna hosting the gig, a 3’10” lady with, as her Facebook page attests, “a small package with a very big presence”. The first band doing support was Mariachi Los Toros a, you guessed it, mariachi band. They were brilliant and had the whole tough looking crowd clapping and singing along to their sweet, sweet tunes. Even the Flash was getting into it. Then they had a band called Redd Kross as their final support. I’d never seen them before but the two lead guys were brothers who looked like the lead singer from Hoodoo Gurus, the lead guitarist looked like a cross between Peter Garrett and Bruce Spence. The drummer constantly threw his drumsticks into the air and failed to catch them more than 25% of the time. And then they rocked out and were fantastic. They looked like a confused parody band but played like you wished more rock and roll bands would.
Then came Faith No More who were of course brilliant. I think Mike Patton is a genius and the greatest singer I've seen live. He can do anything and in this concert he did just that. A broad range of songs, ranging from some of my favourites like, “Digging the Grave” and “Land of Sunshine” to pitch perfect covers of songs like Michael Jackson’s “Ben”. The night ended with Mike Patton crowd surfing and getting angry with people for groping him. Then they walked off the stage without any tears or “we love you” moments. That would have felt totally false. I don’t want to point the FINGER at anyone but this for me is how you say ciao. A little person, a mariachi band, a crazy rock band and then a full on rock and roll assault that doesn't take itself too seriously without compromising musical integrity. Just brilliant.
7th of December 2010