Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Let's Pretend That It Was Perfect

Before I tell my Soundwave tale, I would like to note that I'm not trying to be a smug name dropper. Granted, most of you who read this blog either don't know or don't care about the musicians I'll mention, but for those of you who do, I assure you I'm not trying to rub it in anyone's face. Yes, I got to meet some cool people, but my life is not glamorous. I spent five hours last night creating a character for Dungeons and Dragons because the guys I live with were short a player and begged me to join them. I have transcended my already very high level of geekiness.

Soundwave started with a photographer friend and I being told the media entrance was all the way down at the third gate. Walking down there, we noticed that a Gun and Ammunition Show was being held across the street and this worried us considerably. At Gate 3, we were told it was really Gate 1.2 we wanted, the very gate that directed us to this place. Frustrated, we trudged up the hill, past the angry looking gun nuts again, and politely explained our situation to the man at the door. With much difficulty, we figured out where we were supposed to go with only ten minutes to spare until the first sets were due to start. My friend was one of only three lucky photographers with permission to take pictures of Nine Inch Nails and we giddily shared a quick unprofessional 'OMG WE GET TO DO THIS AS OUR JOB EEEEEEEE!' moment. But then the woman with the list informed me I was not down for a media pass. I freaked out and tried calling Jenn Enders (Ace Enders' wife who had called me earlier to confirm my interview) but it went to voicemail. Ace was playing in a few minutes, so I had no choice but to shell out entirely too much money for a ticket. Yay Ramen for the next month.

I ran through the crowd of every punk, emo and goth in Queensland to Ace's stage where I managed to catch the majority of his set. Phew. My interview was to take place at 2 pm but I didn't know where I should meet them. I asked the security guard if he knew and he went to check, leaving me standing next to the stage as the crew set up for Jacks Mannequin. Then I realized that a girl in the front row was taking pictures of me. "Oh God," I thought, "Please don't let her think I'm somebody important just because I'm standing backstage." Nope, she was taking pictures of Andrew McMahon and the other members of Jacks Mannequin who were right next to me and I totally didn't realize it for five minutes. Figuring they'd know where Ace was, I asked their bassist if he'd seen him. He hadn't, then offered me some of the iced tea he was drinking. It was a sweltering day and I wasn't about to turn down a chance to make the joke that I'd swapped spit with the bassist of Jacks Mannequin, so I accepted. After taking a few huge gulps I realized it was iced tea of the Long Island variety. I'd basically just taken the equivalent of three shots of rum and vodka. At 1:30 pm. On a hot day. With an empty stomach. I knew that in about ten minutes I would be, erm, just a bit tipsy. Oh crap oh crap.

I tried calling Jenn again to see if maybe I could reschedule the time for my interview. Still her voicemail. Thus began my search for the Enders backstage at Soundwave where I technically wasn't authorized to be. The 'iced tea' kicked in somewhere right before asking the dreadlocked guy from Moneen. Who when he said he hadn't seen Ace, I responded with "Raaaah, f*** my life!" and a little kick to the air. Moneen guy about peed himself laughing at me. AWESOME. But the absolute best was when I saw Keith Buckley (the Every Time I Die singer, not the actor from James Bond).



Have you seen Ace?




Ace Enders. He used to be in The Early November.

Oh! That Ace. No, haven't, sorry. What band is he in now?

Um, Ace Enders. It's pretty much just him solo.

Hahahahaha. Hey, are you drunk?

Slightly. By accident.

Hahaha. ME TOO! On purpose though. Australia is awesome!

*High five*

We should have our own comedy routine. I wish I could've talked to him more, especially about the hilarious column he writes for Alternative Press, but he had to go. I would also like to point out that Keith has one of the strangest tattoos I've ever seen: Spock crying because he doesn't have a mustache.

Eventually I found Ace and Jenn, but they were all "Let's do this interview!" before I could ask them if we could move it to later. So I interviewed Ace Enders, the former lead singer of one of my favourite bands, in a less than desired state. Needless to say, it didn't go as planned and I slightly made a fool of myself. Maybe it wasn't all that bad, but I can't bring myself to listen to the recording just yet. I know I said 'magician' instead of 'musician' several times and fumbled with my recorder because it kept beeping at me. I also made a really really dumb pun that caused him to give me that 'No, please don't' look. Then we were cut short because Jacks Mannequin finally took the stage and were super loud. On the verge of tears from screwing my interview up, I stood with The Audition and watched Jacks Mannequin play. Emo times three! A choice observation from my notebook that I don't remember writing: "Lead singer of Audition has a huge mouth. Like, an Aerosmith sized gob. Whoa."

Not wanting to waste the fact that I was miraculously still backstage, I took the opportunity to wander and somehow got recruited by the catering crew for an hour. This was a lot more interesting than it seems because I got to see the lists of 'requirements' aka the food and drink bands demand be in their trailers/tents. I also got to deliver some of them. The smaller acts shared tents and just asked for some bottled water plus a deli platter or fruit & veggie tray. The guys from Horse the Band even picked their own food up, which was considerate of them. Bands higher up on the bill had a trailer to themselves and some unusual requests. I helped deliver Red Jumpsuit Apparatus their box of goodies and had to explain to them that in Australia, light beer means a beer that is lighter in colour and flavour, not low cal as Americans think of it. You heard it here first, folks, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus are a bit diva-ish. I am chock full of industry secrets.

After getting a 'Local Crew' wristband that would ensure I could get backstage again (which I unfortunately didn't get the chance to go back and use), I ventured back out to see Underoath. It ended up being more like hearing Underoath, because the crowd prevented me from actually seeing the band. I couldn't deal with that and headed towards another stage. On my way I ran into Craig Owens and chatted with him shortly then got a picture. I didn't want to bother him much, otherwise I could've talked to him all day. In person, he looks so much like Dominic Monaghan. Whom I also love. *sigh* There was a small crowd for Rival Schools, so I got a front row spot which I held through Hellogoodbye, Funeral For a Friend, and Chiodos. Standing in the same place for over four hours was well worth it, I've wanted to see Hellogoodbye for several years and Chiodos was undoubtedly the best set of the day. They even played the song I suggested to Craig (I won't say which, but if you know me you can probably guess). Usually being front row causes me ridiculous injury but this time it actually saved me because instead of pushing towards the front, people did a Wall of Death. Which is where the crowd splits at the middle then runs towards each other and start punching. Why people do this, I do not know. I just watch.

Saw a few more bands after that, nothing spectacular, then I watched NIN from very far away sitting on a bench with a friend. I was so exhausted I fell asleep during 'Head Like a Hole,' something you'd think would be physically impossible. My day still wasn't over, I was invited to the after party at Rosies. Granted, I was sitting down for most of that. It was okay, Jimmy Pop from Bloodhound Gang DJed and I was going to introduce myself as a fellow Philadelphian, but my friend said Jimmy licked his face when he said hello, so I decided against it. A few other musicians showed up, Keith Buckley was apparently in the VIP room for a bit and I'm pretty sure I saw one of the guys from Houston Calls hanging out with the ginger one from Forever the Sickest Kids. The latter is a really bad dancer, haha.

So there you go. Another patented 'How the Hell Does Danielle Always Manage to Get Into Those Sorts of Situations?!' story. Hope you enjoyed it. I'll eventually put up my interview with Ace, if I ever get up the nerve to transcribe it. :/

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I'm a Troublemaker

First of all, I would like everyone to know I'm perfectly alright and the wildfires are nowhere near where I am, though I appreciate the concern. The fires are all the way down in Melbourne, which is about as far away from Brisbane as Florida is from Pennsylvania. There were actually some major floods here in Queensland, but I wasn't affected by them.

I'm back at Nathan, so no more 17-year-old central where I felt like 'Charles in Charge.' Now (so far) my flatmates are three geeky guys closer to my age who play World of Warcraft all the time. Meaning my life is now 'The Big Bang Theory.' Yes, I enjoy comparing everything to sitcoms. Unfortunately the move itself didn't go as planned and I nearly had a nervous breakdown in the bus station. See, I had to be fully checked out by 10 am on Valentines Day, but I couldn't move in to Nathan until noon on the 15th. My plan was to leave all my luggage in a flatmates room, check out, walk around the city until 5 pm (when the building office closes), then have a flatmate let me in and spend the night so I could move my things to Nathan in shifts the next day. I would've gotten away with it too if it weren't for those meddling kids! My one flatmate got incredibly drunk the night before and thanks to her stupid friend that's always at our flat for some reason, had the brilliant idea to go out at 1:30 am.

Nothing was stopping them and neither of them knew the city, meaning I was pretty much forced to go with them (damn you conscience!) or else they'd wake me up with a paniced phone call to come rescue them anyway. I told them I wasn't going anywhere you have to pay a cover because I'm poor and we'd only be there for about an hour anyway so what's the point. I knew this was going to be a bad day when my flatmate started making out with a stranger who looked like Nick from 'Freaks and Geeks' while waiting in line at McDonalds. Yup. They just looked over at each other and BAM then they were sucking face. Several boys worth of flirting later, we eventually ended up at the club she wanted to go to. The same awful place where T and I once ducked into to avoid the rain and had those super creepers hit on us (I forget if I actually told that story or not, I don't think I did because it had funny photos to go with it that T never ended up sending me. Long story short, the guy hitting on me said I looked like a cocaine user because I "have the big nose for it," which he actually meant as a compliment. I then look over to see the guy chatting up T doing the 'Stop Hitting Yourself!' thing to her. We got out of there as fast as we could.) "No," I firmly stated, "I hate this place, it's full of jerks and I have a very strict policy of avoiding places with stripper cages built into their walls." But I was outvoted by the brilliant future of tomorrow and spent the next hour miserable. My flatmate then decided we should try the gay bar across the street. I was relieved since I'd much rather be there, but then I discovered it was $10 to enter and my flatmate needed me to pay for her as well. We ended up staying about ten minutes and had to leave because 'it wasn't happening enough' and the friend was uncomfortable. So I essentially spent a dollar a minute to marvel at gay raver kids dancing the Melbourne Shuffle. To top it off, they decided we should go back to the first club again. Hiding my anger, I told them I'll be waiting outside instead.

At this point, it was about 3:15 am and I'm sitting outside on a bench by myself. This would be worrying if I did this in Philadelphia, but in Brisbane you're perfectly alright. I was tired, grumpy, and just knew my day was bound to get crappier. My face must have shown it because from beside me a voice whispered in my ear, "Why so serious?" I almost had a heart attack. Standing there was a guy dressed as The Joker for no discernable reason. I just stared at him and then a guy in a Batman costume jumps out, yelling "Leave that citizen alone!" They then began to slappy fight for a few seconds and ran off. My flatmate's friend came out several minutes later to find me still dumbfounded. I tried to tell her about the amazing thing she just missed but she thought it was more important to be snarky about my flatmate. "I don't care how many guys she's made out with tonight," I practically yelled, "I just saw The Joker and Batman fighting!" She leered at me, "It wasn't really them. They're not real." A random goth guy came up to us, "You don't get it. Obviously Batman isn't real, duh. Point is, it was AWESOME!" Apparently he had witnessed it too and we talked a few minutes, with him offering me a cigarette if I knew the smallest country in the world. Which I did (Vatican City), but I don't smoke so I told him to give it to the next person who asks him for one on behalf of me. The friends he was waiting for showed up and we said goodbye, which made my flatmate's friend happy because she thought he was 'a freak.' Yeah, all those guys trying to grab your butt in that skeezy club are normal because they wear Abercrombie & Fitch but the goth guy who has an innocent friendly conversation to pass the time is the one we have to watch out for.

Eventually my flatmate was ready to go and the cab ride home was entirely arguments between her and the friend. I tried to calm the tension by making a stupid joke which neither got made the cabbie laugh. "You don't get it?" he said, thankfully on my side, "It was a pun." NEITHER OF THEM KNEW WHAT A PUN IS. The cabbie and I tried explaining it, but to no avail. How did they pass fifth grade English? Once back at the flat, I knew I'd never get up at 9 am if I went to bed at 5 am, so I just stayed up reading. The first part of my plan was successful but I was too exhausted to go into the city, so I told all my flatmates I was going to nap on the couch and to warn me if building management were coming. The flatmate I sacrificed my sleep and $20 for ended up opening the door because "she forgot and their knocking was killing me, omg I'm soooo hungover!" And thus I was kicked out hastily and forgot several of my things. I was called a cab, which I had no cash to pay for and had to use my credit card (I hate doing that). The office told him to take me to a hostel so I could spend the night there. An okay idea, but dammit, why is it such a crime for me to stay one more night at my old flat? Renters rights! It was also not such a great idea considering the hostel was full. But it was across from the bus station at least. With much difficulty and cursing, I managed to get half of my things into the world's most high security storage locker ("Please enter your birthdate, then choose a colour, re-enter your birth date, then pick a four digit code") and struggled onto a bus to a friends house with the other half of my bags. We spent our Valentines Day night eating pizza, watching 'Mean Girls,' then dancing around to my new favourite music video.

So to all those people who complain about Valentines Day because they're single or hate how commercial a holiday it is, you can shut it. Valentines sucks because something completely ridiculous (good and bad) always seems to happen to me that day. Fortunately I ended up having a fun time later on, but any day where you're dragging wheelie luggage and screaming obsenties because you're temporarily homeless thanks to your selfish flatmate is not really a good one. Damn you, Valentines Day curse!

On the bright side, this weekend I'm off to the Soundwave Festival and interviewing one of my musical idols, Ace Enders. I'll try hard not to cry like a Beatles fan when I meet him. Needless to say, next entry should be amusing and in a significantly happier tone.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I Just Can't Take It Anymore

I’m currently being forced to listen to (and refusing to actually watch) ‘Beerfest,’ which followed up ‘Little Nicky’ and ‘Dodgeball.’ All with constant commentary and quoting! So those of you who know me well are aware this is a bit like my own personal hell. Although the ‘Sex and the City’ movie and ‘Undercover Brother’ would be on the schedule for Satan Cinemas too. If you haven’t guessed, this little film festival of idiocy was curated by my seventeen-year-old male flatmate. Actually I have two new seventeen-year-old male flatmates, along with a new American girl literally meant to replace me. Which means I have to move back to my old flat two weeks earlier than they initially told me. Boo-urns. Moving sooner than anticipated always sucks, but I’m feeling mixed about the actual moving.

*No more 17 dude #2 and his commandeering of the living room as a screening area for ‘movies you guys HAVE to see.’ I’ve only known him for two days and he was alright in the beginning, but he constantly makes insulting ‘jokes’ about my age and America. I mean, I’m used to little digs at the US, sometimes they’re true or just funny. But he made two remarks today that really offended me, and that’s hard to do. Also, he got drunk and threw up profusely his first night here. Why does that always happen?

*17 dude #1 is so nice. Like a cool little brother who has a very similar music taste and a rad video game collection. We watched ‘Battle Royale’ and a few zombie movies together, good times. See, I loathe most comedies written with a target audience of teen boys, but any action/thriller movie teen boys love, I am obsessed with as well. My taste in entertainment is very difficult to understand at times. Anyway, I’ll miss this guy (and Hannah!) a lot when I leave, hopefully I can still get to hang out with them.

*Back at Nathan, laundry and the internet are free. That makes my life a whole lot easier.

*You have to take a bus to get to the city or the closest grocery store. Where I am now, they’re within walking distance. I can never win.

*Even though it can be a bit annoying that the wireless signal only works in the living room (which is why I had to endure crap movies all day), I do enjoy sitting and working on my laptop in a comfy chair.

*As I’ve mentioned before, the living room area of the Nathan flats are disgusting and that means I have to be a hermit sitting in my room when I write.

It’s not like I have a choice about moving again, though. Oh well. The only other news I have is that I’m officially a contributor to Popserious.com now! Please bookmark this site and check it from time to time, especially feel free to leave comments. If we get more web traffic this could very well mean I’ll have my first paid writing gig! But for now it’s just super fun and I write little commentaries on music and movies. I’m moving on Valentines Day, which is funny because I definitely do not love carting my stuff around. Wish me luck!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sting Would Have None of This Behaviour

I wish I had a real update, but no, things are dreadfully boring here. I've been cooped up the majority of the weekend because I haven't been feeling so well. But my Snood score is better than ever!

Anyway, I just thought you would all appreciate this. I usually walk by there every day and am a bit sad I missed witnessing such an ironic event. Knowing the local media, this is going to be on the front page of the news tomorrow and 'breaking developments' will pop up the rest of the month. Hooray?

P.S. I also get much amusement by turning the sound up on my computer and startling my flatmate with this.