Heartbreak Hotel: Gizzfest with King Gizzard and the Wizard Lizard, POND, White Fence etc. at the Urban Orchard 4 December 2016
so i've checked in to heartbreak hotel again. it's not my first time here: they know my name, they know what i like for breakfast. the first few days are always the worst. you just sit by the pool and see algae and mosquito larvae, and then stare at the telly alone at night, not able to tell which bits are ads and which bits are the story. the best thing is falling asleep, because at least while you're sleeping you can't cry.
but then a few days later you notice the roses they put on the breakfast tables. you realise slowly you've got a bit more time to read, and get absorbed in your book for minutes at a time. one day in the first week you see a friend who's checked in as well, and magically the conversation moves on from the names of the people who left you, or who you left.
well, enough of the metaphors. almost, because the main thing that sticks with me from the king gizzard and the wizard lizard show is how their two drummers are like the two legs of a man, running. and the main lyric that sticks with me from the whole show is this: "something something something something, open the door" (where the "somethings" are representations of spaces in my memory).
the other main thing that sticks is this: all men show. i've decided to start calling cricket "men's cricket" and AFL "men's AFL," if it's the games where only men are playing. we'll see how that goes. lots of my friends are excited that young thug's coming to laneway. all my friends are excited. but what's more helpful, less aggressive to my kind: wearing a dress, or not calling women hoes? "something" can stand in for words i forgot, but "bitches and hoes" should never be a stand in for "women and girls".
well, my feelings and the ongoing struggle of women for equality, safety and representation aside, it was a great show.
the murlocs were playing when i got there. it was either the hotel card in my pocket or their actual music making me nonplussed, or some combination, but for some reason i didn't buy it. the crowd did though and they were singing along, hoisting each other up and smiling in wide ways into the sun reflecting off the band they love. joe ryan was there, and he gave me a food ticket because i hadn't eaten that day. it started out as a feeling of "maybe i'll fast to ask The Big about my future" but turned into just not eating. i ate rice and chicken - where did it come from? where does it go? and walked across to the bird for a break. noël at the bar gave me a red wine for free - maybe he could see my feelings on my face too, and then out the back we talked about the predictable stages of getting over someone, and how they all come in waves. we talked in french and english, and it was after i'd sat alone for a while thinking "i'm just alone again now" and reading aldous huxley's forays into mesculin vision, which felt so much like my own normal vision. i get to see the world in a magic way, on the reg, but i still get heartbroken and have to go through the predictable stages of grief. i started thinking maybe the real mystics are just people who are happy. eating chicken at home and watching telly, going boating, camping, fishing, and all with a perpetual grin written on their deep psyche.
well, i left that place where mei saraswati and flower drums and leure were going to be playing - a beautiful alternate reality i was leaving for another beautiful place. i got an icecream, thinking "i'm on my own, buying myself an icecream", and walked back to the urban orchard, passing jeremy bunny the aspiring actor who told me he'd be going to late night valentine's later, as every night, to party and lose his mind on the dance floor.
when i got back kevin was there, and gum, and lucy and nick and nick and jasmine and ringham and rachael and pandora, names you'll mainly have to make up faces to. rachael looked down at my shoes and saw i still had the plastic loop of new shoes on them. for me the shoes represent "the first thing i bought without talking to the guy i love about it." i told rachael i like to leave the tags on because it reminds me i once bought something, like my guitar which still has its tag three years on. she bent down, scoffed, and later i realised she'd ripped off the tag - jasmine told me - and flung it on the ground. i like sassy women telling me what to do: we all know it's just a game.
white fence played and i loved it. everyone said the singer was like a doppelganger for our lloyd - the silent's main guy - and it was true, even just in image in front of me. he didn't sing too much, and when he did i felt like he meant it, even though i can't relay to you even one word. it was nice thick real considered sound. confident with a reason.
sam kuzich arrived. he'd come back from five months touring with taku and touring on his own, a month in cuba, everywhere else. he has no facebook, no instagram, no facetime, so the way he's going to tell me about it and the way i'm going to tell him about my glorious five months of non-solitude will be by soundwaves through the air, mouth to ear, probably over the waters of the derbarl yerrigan, ancient river that's been flowing since the body of the wagal made it.
a guy called 'dinner' played. he was loose but not loose enough for me. i wanted him to be using his hands for something. he made everyone sit down, and that was the best bit. the crowd adored it. i wanted more, or less, but i know that most things on earth are not meant for me, and if i even see one musical thing i like, that should be enough to be grateful.
pond played and nick was shining. i took lots of photos on a film camera. the whole thing whizzed by, except the moment in time when jay, gum, sung the song about climbing cranes. in that moment things stood still. and when nick acknowledged the traditional owners of the land. those things are worth a whole night's 'entertainment'.
jamil played as boulevards. he sang about the best smelling pussy etc. i'm calling him by his first name because as he walked by me and nick backstage from where the gizzards were playing he asked nick "who's this babe?" and nick said "amber." i don't know why he didn't ask me my own name, but that's what happens when people can sing onstage with their shirts off about all kinds of jizz: sometimes they still can't ask your name. i liked his show, liked watching him, liked trying to work out if the words were gonna upset me or not.
when the gizzards came on lots of people's conversation in the side bit started getting faltering. they have a power, a great power and it is a wall of men coming towards you, with fans blowing their hair back, streamers flying backwards from their hair and limbs, marching towards you, flying to you, as one. it's like a great dream that goes on and on. it's like a cool cartoon from when you were 6 or 8 and you feel part of it and talk to the characters as you watch from the carpet. it's like being in a desert where there's heaps of animals you've never seen before, and you're like "woh! cool!" every few seconds, with your eyebrows up and your eyes popping. king gizzard, saving me once again from heartbreak with your double drummers and great relentless medieval riffs.
lots of the boys stage dived - a shy guy in overalls from white fence, gum, jamil, joe. gum's description of it at the cafe the next day was of how he jumped in and six seconds later the song stopped. "i got dropped to the ground and there was this sea of long haired blonde guys looking down at me saying, 'woh, jay watson! where's kevin!' they all seemed like nice guys but that was all they could say, 'get kevin to come out!'
well, i'm going back to my room now to read some paul auster and get ready for dinner. see u at the pool.