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Last weekend I went to the Come Together Festival. Well, one day of it anyway. I hadn’t heard of a lot of the bands playing, but I really wanted to see The Butterfly Effect and figured it would be fun. It was. The sound wasn’t so great some of the time, but The Butterfly Effect were fantastic and I discovered a few new bands. Heroes for Hire were good fun live, even if I’m usually not a huge fan of pop-punk music. Probably not going to rush out and buy any of their stuff though. The big discovery of the day was MM9. Admittedly, I had seen them before, but I wasn’t overly thrilled then. This might have been due to the fact that I was actually supposed to be seeing Mammal, but they broke up the day before the gig. Grumble. At least I’d won free tickets. Anyway, MM9 totally rocked and I ended up going home and buying their CD on itunes. The good news is they’re supporting Karnivool, so I get to see them again in a few weeks. Yay!

Here’s a clip of them at Come Together

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So, I’ve been rather lazy about updating this blog this year. Sorry about that, been pretty busy. First, there was Faith No More week, which consisted of 2 Soundwave festivals and 2 Faith No More gigs. Best. Concerts. Ever. Seriously, they got better with every show. If you haven’t seen them live and you get the chance to, do it. After that, I saw the Pixies, who were good too, but nowhere near FNM good.

Apart from that, I’ve been doing a few new things – indoor rock climbing and trying to learn electronics. Why? No reason, just something to do. The rock climbing is fun, but I kind of suck at it because I’m short and not particularly coordinated. I end up covered in bruises every week. Still, at least it gets me off the couch once a week. Electronics is something I always wanted to learn, but never got around to. So, in the absence of any beginners courses, I bought a Short Circuits book from Jaycar, a soldering iron and a few basic kits. While they were kind of fun to put together, I didn’t feel like I knew anything more about, well, anything after making a few of those so I bought another book. This one is called Making Things Talk by Tom Igoe. The projects are a little more challenging. The first one is something called Monski Pong, where you get a toy monkey to play pong. I couldn’t find a stuffed monkey, so used a tiger and created Tiger Pong instead. Here’s a few pics of my poor wired-up tiger.

Unfortunately, one of his arm sensors is currently broken, so no pics of him playing pong, but I assure you it did work until a bit of metal snapped off. Next step – fix sensor, then try to make it wireless! Poor tiger will still have cables poking out everywhere, it just means he doen’t have to be hooked to the computer with a USB cable. Hopefully I can post some pics of functioning wireless Tiger Pong soon.

So, 2010 has started off pretty well. So far, I’ve only been to see two bands, Torch Le Monde, who were previously mentioned here, and Them Crooked Vultures.

I’ll mention the TLM gig first, because it was a little bizarre. I’d wanted to see the band again since I saw them supporting Kissteria in August, but every other time they were playing I happened to be in Canberra. I saw they were doing a gig in Sydney when I wasn’t going to be away so figured I’d go. Only thing was, they were playing as part of a thing called Blood, Rock and Wrestling. I was a little dubious, but figured since it was at a pub not far from my place, I’d give it a go. The band were really good and did a mix of their original stuff and a few covers (Rebel Yell and Go – which was awesome). The wrestling, not so much. There were 3 matches, the first was a tag team one with four guys who talked a lot of trash, but weren’t very good. When you can see that the punch doesn’t connect, it kind of ruins the illusion. The second was cosplay wrestling, with a chick dressed as Lara Croft and one as some chick from Street Fighter 2. At least they looked like they were inflicting some pain on each other. The heckling from the crowd was pretty poor. “Someone’s on the rag” was about the standard, I’m afraid. The third match was fucked up. This is where the “blood” part of blood, rock and wrestling came in. Two guys wrestled, but also used things like barbed wire, thumb tacks, mouse traps and glass rods. And it really did look like they were bleeding after going through some of those rods. Ewww. At least the band was on again after that, and they rocked. I recommend seeing them when they tour in March (no idea on dates, just going on their twitter posts).

The second concert was Them Crooked Vultures, which I had been looking forward to ever since they announced the tour. Hell, I bought tickets before I’d even heard any of their songs. I figured I couldn’t go wrong with a band featuring Josh Homme and Dave Grohl, given my taste in music. I was right. They were brilliant. They played everything from their album. Some songs came across even better live than on the album. And best of all, the bit in Reptiles that I love didn’t get fucked up live. There’s nothing worse than having a bit of a song which gives you shivers on a CD being half-hearted when sung live. Maroon 5’s Harder to Breathe comes to mind as an example of that (yeah, I saw Maroon 5 when they toured Songs about Jane, what of it?). Here’s the setlist. If you ever get the chance to see them live, I seriously recommend it. They’re playing the Download Festival this year. Wish I could go. It was awesome last year. Oh well.

Anyway, now I’m just counting down the days until Faith No More week which starts on the 21st February. I’m seeing them 4 times in a week. You can never have too much Faith No More.

And now, I leave you with a clip of Them Crooked Vultures performing Reptiles at the Hordern.

I went to the Karnivool concert the other day. They were awesome, although the lead singer’s facial expressions reminded me a bit of Garth from Wayne’s World. I don’t think the glasses helped. Support acts were pretty good too. I think I may be getting just a tad bit too old for the mosh though. I was second row centre, which was fine for the support acts because the place was still pretty much empty, but then I got surrounded by a bunch of tall 18 year old guys. A guy slightly in front of me to one side must have been about 6’5″. For those who don’t know me, I’m a 5’2″ chick so this means that a) I can’t see and b) I probably wont be able to breathe either. To begin with, I managed to get a gap between two guys shoulders, so I could both see and breathe. Then some arsehole next to me decided that chicks shouldn’t be in the mosh (yes, he did vocalise that) and to start elbowing me in the head. Nice. I held my ground for as long as possible and hit him when he started trying to push me over sideways. Eventually, I decided that retaining brain cells was probably more important than proving short chicks are not pushovers and let him push in. Then his mate started elbowing me in the head instead. Fun. I am now covered in bruises, which you expect after a concert, but people at work were a bit concerned about the bruises on my left arm and now think I’m weird after I told them how I got them. Oh well. I think they all found me a little weird anyway.

Here’s footage of one of their songs from Wednesday:

I was trying to find one that showed the facial expressions, but it looks like they were all taken from further away. It appears that the sound was better from there though, the vocals were drowned out by the drums a bit down the front.

After having one of the best years of concert-going this year (which isn’t over yet, I still have Mammal this weekend and Karnivool in a few weeks), I thought that it would be a pretty tough ask for next year to top it. It may just be getting there though. Of course, I don’t have any overseas trips planned next year, but that’s ok because Faith No More are touring here! I’m looking forward to the last week of February, which will now be known as Faith No More week (unoriginal, I know). I’ll be seeing them 4 times! I know, kind of obsessive, but I did travel halfway around the world to see them this year, so it seemed stupid not to see them here.

FNM-fest aside, there’s also Them Crooked Vultures in January and The Pixies in March. And Janes Addiction, Eagles of Death Metal and Placebo at Soundwave (plus heaps of others – definitely avoiding Paramore though). So 2010 looks like it’s going to ROCK. If only I could have a Tool or Ash tour, it would be near-perfect (perfect would require a NIN concert, which clearly won’t happen).