Well I stayed in again this past Wednesday due to my whatever it is sickness. I watched Ponyo which has the cutest song ever, and only headed out after dinner for my gig in Kogarah – the same deal as the last week where I played last while Russell counted votes. The talent pool this night didn’t quite match the last week’s, and once again unworthy acts progressed to the finals on the strength of their fan base – or more the strength of their fan’s alcohol tolerances. You see, you get a vote slip for buying a drink.
Last time, Peter’s fans and the rest of the artists stayed through till the results were announced – salient to me as I played for a nice sizeable audience with a high number of friendly musicians. The makeup of this crowd ran markedly different. Most acts left in the middle of the next acts songs. Extremely rude. A side effect of this meant that the later you played, the less votes you could captain. And thus the last act of the night, Dave Sattout, easily easily the best act, garnered a mere five votes to the winner’s ninety two. The winner, Dan Coates, brought the majority of the crowd, yet left almost immediately after he sang, taking his crowd with him. And so talent lost out. The other acts who made it through included Dan Usher, who’s apparently also made the Grand Final I’ll be playing at on Monday at The Basement (the premier venue of Sydney, what!), who as far as I can tell knows one strumming pattern, four chords, and two melodies. I guess if it ain’t broke, take a generic country song and copy it. He particularly appalled me by playing IV chords where clearly a vi should have been. Reginald the Safety Dancing Goat, the sole worthy finalist, finished out the group. He played with great energy and skill – wonderful songs that he did a disservice to with silly cheap laugh titles and jokes like “If Ron Jeremy Can Be a Porn Star, I Can Too” which had nothing to do with the actually serious, good song.
As per usual not all of the acts showed up, but a “warmup” group offset this. My god they were abysmal. I only just recently happened upon the “Homeless or Hipster” idea, and coincidentally or not, this group cemented that idea for me. That bored, perma-high glazed eyes, slack-jawed lazy bum look replete with torn skinny jeans, chest hair baring shirts, unkempt hair and nose rings. Hipsters are supposed to play music well. They started with a cover of Santana’s Smooth, and continued even more laughably with a cover of get this: Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven. I mean, seriously, you don’t record one of the most difficult, showcasey songs of all time unless you totally kick ass. Certainly not if you forget lyrics, fumble guitar lines, simplify the solo, change tempos, sing off key for a chorus or too. Sort of lost the whole time, with precisely Bram’s imitation of a breathy annoying hipster voice which he used to exaggerate my own tendency and how to correct it. Every single note flat, some not even close, not playing in time with each other – the rest of us in the pub looked at each other multiple times like “Are you serious?” Best of all their whole we don’t give a shit attitude completed by their departure directly after they “played.” Their last song actually sounded all right though – an original – but they’d taken up so much time for just a few songs due to all sorts of equipment issues. And between their second and third the lead guitarist stupidly removed the plug from his guitar without turning down the volume. EVERYONE knows you must do that, and so resulted a deafening pop from the speaker. Massimo and I sat directly up front and felt our right ear ringing the rest of the night.
At any rate, my set went uneventfully, though the remaining crowd warmed to me quite nicely. As usual I prepared a short story to lead them through, singing them an alternation between covers and originals to push my CD but alas, no one bought one. I really hoped someone might to lessen the suckiness of having the US Postal Service lose a hundred of mine as sent by Kevin to my mother, but no luck.
Earnings: 0.00 AUD + CD exchange, 20 minutes
Song of the Day: Hello – Lionel Richie