International Women's Day and King Gizzard and the Wizard Lizard Heal My Broken Heart
Can I fit those two topics into one article? YES I CAN.
So, yesterday was International Women’s Day. Wikipedia threw up a great image from 1932 in Russia, colour palette reds through to yellows, white and grey. At first I interpreted it as a woman helping another woman off the street, but in fact it was a woman helping another out of a pile of furniture and kitchen items. Both of these have their place in a general utopia of equalities becoming manifest. As soon as I realised what the day was, starting from a facebook post from Matthew Aitken about his great Greek grandmother who was the first female bus driver in WA, I felt good. Because, truly, sometimes being a female is actually fucked. And somehow, having this day where lots of friends made posts about their female heroes did achieve something, at least in my own heartbrain.
The thing the Russian poster taught me, via wikipedia, was that the day was initially about workers rights, and I thought – even for Coolperthnights – imagine if me and Lyndon got paid differently just because of being peeny or vageeny. But of course, there’s still a billion direct ways and vestiges of ways that living in patriarchy and often misogynistiarchy in Australia or France 2016 sucks balls.
All day I revelled in the feeling of “Make it count”, “Think differently”, “Do things differently”. Alex Griffin interviewed me for some project where he asked lots of questions about women in music and directly asked the question “What can we (men) do?”. He asked this question several times and I tried to answer, but the thing is, we’re taught from really young ages to not say what we (females) really want, to swallow our own desires, to put ourselves second. Putting oneself second is a wonderful way to go through life if it’s done the right way, but when it’s a symptom of systematic small and large oppressions and violences from when you pop out to when you get dug down, it’s not wonderful.
Anyway, five nights before that I was in my usual heartbroken state, not having been re-engergized yet by a day just for my downtrodden sex, and I was contemplating bailing on the King Gizzard show. I had wangled free tickets though, and had a friend who wanted to go for his first time to the Flèche d’Or, so I rallied. Every time King Gizzys play in Perth I seem to miss it. Never again. Thanks to RTR I had heard them in bits and pieces on the radio and from the radio their music somehow intrigued me but somehow also seemed like a cypher of itself, of its own genre. But seeing them live the cypher was filled in, the Lacanian hole was made replete and my little heart was sewn up again song by song, drum fill by drum fill.
So yeah, we got to the Flèche, I wangled the door lady, said a quick hello to Ambrose whose keyboards we’d hardly hear but can wait til their Perth show, told my friend “I’ll just watch two songs and then leave, ok?” except in French, and then headed to the closest possible place to watch amongst a full room of initially reserved and soon stage-diving French people. It was so beautiful from the first moment and then all the way through. Beautiful in the way that unconsciously my mouth blurted out quiet “Fuck yeah!“s many many times through the show and I could actually feel the tears of the day quick-drying as if the two drum kits and closest amp were emanating a delicate form of liquid nitrogen. On particular middle-tier of the musical podium (that means GOLD rather than MEDIOCRE) was the guitarist closest to us. What is his name? I shall “phone a friend”. Only four pedals and one of them was a tuner – what a tru boss. It seemed like there were guitars everywhere, but his was the closest amp, and his were the most delicate tones that floated my way, stuck in at every point by the simultaneously tight and humble bass and those two drummers. Oh how I eat up the double drums when it’s not a curly affected mannerism but impressive and necessary.
It’s hard to distinguish ones own feelings from the spirit of the crowd – in a way this is good, a reminder of all being one one one one one – and in another way it sucks because I don’t know if I’m right or egotistically interpreting the mood of the night to say that the more languid songs were more loved, where the drums swung, where spaces were left. I did the usual thing my mind does with Melbourne boy-bands for some reason, which is imagining what each member would be like as a father, and what jobs and hobbies each have outside the band and which one is an architect or barista, who learns piano concertos on the side, who mainly plays video games, immobile and slouched as both a complement and inversion of their role as psych musician on stage.
Well, it was wall-to-wall bewdiful and the full crowd of Parisians, and one guy from Sydney who we found out after the show had met his girlfriend via their shared love of the Gizz, were all heaving in joy, creamy breasted red-heads and overly zealous drunkards expressing admiration in their own ways. I’ve never heard an encore call as long as that – it was left unanswered and we all spilled out into the smoking section. There I met Eric, maybe drummer, maybe architect/barista, who was being accosted on all sides by tru-fans and beery-eyed moderately lovable douchebags. My friend asked me, laughing, “Do you remember all the songs they played to write in your review?” and I laughed back “I’m lucky if I even remember any of my own songs,” but magically enough another friend happened to be one of the tru-fans with a brain of titanium. And so this first ever set list to grace a Chronicle comes direct from Pierre-Jean’s phone to mine, to Coolperthnights for those of you who care, along with the name of my favourite guitarist because of proximity on the night: Joe Walker, and photographic screen-proof that P-J has listened to the song “Am I In Heaven” from the album “I’m In Your Mind Fuzz” 292 times just on his computer. Emoji hearts as original in text message.
Set list for King Gizzard, La Flèche d’Or, Paris, Jeudi 3 Mars 2016 (thanks to Pierre-Jean)
Robot stop (Nonagon Infinite 29.04.2016)
??? (Probablement une chanson de Nonagon Infinite 2016)
Nonagon Infinite (Nonagon Infinite 2016)
Gamma Knife (Nonagon Infinite 2016)
Hot Water (I’m In Your Mind Fuzz 2014)
Trapdoor (Paper Mâché Dream Balloon 2015)
River (Quarters!2015) <3
I’m not in your mind (I’m In Your Mind Fuzz 2014)
Cellophane (I’m In Your Mind Fuzz 2014)
Head On (Float Along – Fill Your Lungs 2013 <3)
Am I In Heaven? (I’m In Your Mind Fuzz 2014 <3 pour l’original)
Head On reprise (Float Along – Fill Your Lungs 2013 <#)
“If you listen to the albums you’ll see that Float Along – Fill Your Lungs, I’m In Your Mind Fuzz, Quarters!, Paper Mâché Dream Balloon are often variations on a musical theme. It’s very probable that there are other songs which were played together. That said, I’m pretty certain about my tracklist.”
So anyway, King Gizzard show ended with a salmon pizza, a reconstituted heart and an introduction to the French version of Aesop’s tales in the metro on the way home, and International Women’s Day ended with me sitting with three men discussing their trips to strip clubs in Pigalle (the strippy part of Paris where a few days later I’d meet great Australian actor Noah Taylor), and then a few moments of awkwardness as I made my friend say in a louder and louder voice “Today is International Women’s Day!” and then my final interjection at the end of the strip club story of “You know, you can’t buy a woman!”
King Gizz 10/10
International Women’s Day 8/10