25 January 2011

Assembly Time

Just a friendly reminder that on this coming Saturday, the 29th of January 2011 - this is happening:

50 bucks gets you in. No one gets out alive. The City Bowl Mizers are coming all the way down to the Mother City from Durban, so the least you could do is show face. Be sure to take advantage of whatever [inevitable] specials The Assembly has going on the night. Get #crunk!

24 January 2011

To RAMfest Or Not To RAMfest...

When I first heard the line-up (both local and international acts) for this year's RAMfest V, I was surprised at their unconventional choice. Last year we had Pendulum's DJ set blast our ears (and eyes) off, and I think many people were expecting a similar international act to follow last year's. When it was announced that Alkaline Trio and Funeral For a Friend would be manning the main stage as headlining acts in 2011, many people were disappointed and - there's no other way to say this - turned off. The question is, why?

RAMfest - traditionally - has always been about showcasing alternative talent. Alternative rock and metal - to be specific. The fact that they had Pendulum headline last year doesn't necessarily mean anything has changed. I, for one, am glad they have opted for international rock acts instead of another d&b, electro, dance act. There's the Electrodome for that in any case.

Alkaline Trio

As for the local line-up, there is a noticeable absence of Lark, Fokofpolisiekar and Die Heuwels Fantasties, all of whom were previously assumed to be RAMfest trademark acts. Personally, I like the fact that they're mixing things up a little bit; way-to usher in a new generation of RAMfest trademark bands. Taking all of the above into account, I'm perhaps more excited to see some of our local acts over the international headliners. Bands like Not My Dog, The Revelators, Isochronous, Wrestlerish, Blk Jks (especially after their dismal performance opening for 30 Seconds to Mars) Stepdog and The Sleepers are sure to draw a crowd. So, below is a little poll for you to vote on. Will you be attending RAMfest V this year? Click click!

23 January 2011

Family Guy: It's a Trap. Mind = Blown.

I watched the latest installment in the Family Guy: Star Wars Saga, It's a Trap, last night with a few close friends (@LourensLoki, @DennisKrige, @Kaydee_ve, @AdeleKloppers, @GavinHarries@The__Grizzle) and I'd highly recommend it to anyone with a warped sense of humour. Seth MacFarlane and his team have outdone themselves this time around - especially with regard to the animation, as well as the cosmic amount of in-jokes he manages to slip into every second of the film.

Below, you can check out the trailer which highlights some of the funnier parts in the movie without spoiling some of the longer, more surprising jokes.

If you're looking for a short film to get you laughing, then It's A Trap does not disappoint. Watch it!

22 January 2011

White Collar Kiss, LA.VI and The Windy City - Mercury Live

So, last night was a good gig. The turnout at Mercury Live was pretty low, considering the amount of promos, demos and Facebook tag-mentions that were thrown around in the weeks preceding the event. But the vibe was there; the place was littered with familiar faces from our humble Western Cape music industry, all of whom were ready to roll.

The Windy City got the party started with some ethereal, upbeat, indy-rock ballads that made me think of waves and candle-lit feasts on tropical beaches. Their sound is unique enough to take them far in South Africa and perhaps even internationally, and I am totally amped to be jamming with them again at Zula in the not-to-distant future. They're at Assembly tonight, so go check them out.

Next up was the LA.VISIONARIES. That's us by the way. We threw out some of our dirty laundry on the crowd and didn't even bother to call them back in the morning. One thing I love about LA.VI gigs is the amount of freedom I get to let loose on the drums, and I took full advantage of that luxury last night. Our set was well received (to my knowledge) and we walked off stage feeling exactly how you feel after a good night of lovin'. Tired and wet - but totally satisfied.

Due to recounting the set backstage with Kenan and Chantel, I missed a considerable section of White Collar Kiss' set. From what I could make out, they sounded solid, melodic and energetic. Something like a mixture between Paramore and Breaking Benjamin. Not to mention, their lead singer is a looker. Something for everyone.

We left Mercury and somehow ended up at Mavericks. It was Friday night and they had their A-Squad on. I got to witness my girlfriend receive here first ever lap-dance. WIN! Thank you Chris Captivate!
So far 2011 is looking like it's going to be a good year. We've got some super-gigs lined up with LA.VI, including The Assembly next weekend and The V&A Waterfront Amphitheater the following. See you there?

Heads Up, Venue Owners in South Africa

Hi there, I play in a band, and I have a large, ugly bone to pick with venue owners in South Africa. Before I get started, let me clarify: this isn't directed at any one venue owner in particular, but rather as a general warning to the state of the industry in SA - sparked by a number of incidents that I have heard of in the past. Okay, so lets get started.

  • First things first: if you want a DJ, hire a DJ. If you want a band, hire a band. If you want both, hire both; but don't - for the love of God - hire a band and expect them to supply in-between set  ambience. That's the venue's issue. Do you hire a DJ and ask them to play in a band as well?  No. If you're confused as to the difference between a band and a DJ, then you shouldn't be running a venue in the first place. Go back to fishing.
  • Don't try underpay us. We don't care if the bar didn't make enough money; that isn't our problem. The bar is yours, the band is ours. If you hire a band at a fixed rate, be prepared to pay it. If you're going to tell us afterwards that we are only getting half-pay, you are being completely unreasonable. If you tell us during our set, know that we will only play half a set.
  • Following from the previous point, if you are going to undercut us at the end of the night, we'd rather have a door deal, where we get paid according to money made from entrance charges. That way, if we don't attract enough people to your venue, we don't get paid. But don't negotiate a set fee, and then tell us that there weren't enough people attending. That's not our problem.
  • Yes, playing music is a passion and a hobby, but for some/most of us it's a job too. Don't act like you're doing us a favour by "letting" us play at your venue. We are like any other working professional; maybe we don't have degrees or qualifications (some of us do) to prove it, but what we do requires dedication, hard work and, possibly the most tedious job in the world: dealing with you.
  • Don't hire two acoustic guitarists if you're expecting a trance party. It's Tuesday night for God's sake.
  • No matter how many times you tell us I don't want to be unfair / I'm not using you guys / I'm not trying to be a bad guy, the bottom line is, if you are not upholding the initial agreement - YOU ARE BEING A BASTARD.
  • Contrary to popular belief, we are not stupid. We may not be rocket scientists but we can perform basic addition, multiplication, subtraction and division. Translation: we know if you're undercutting us.
  • Don't be skimp; we have expenses. We don't just evaporate out of your venue when we've finished, only to apparate back a week later, all smiles and pansies. We carry large, heavy equipment, deal with advanced electronics and are kept awake until all hours of the night in an effort to entertain YOU and YOUR guests.
To the bands out there. Don't be fools. Use a contract. A simple booking agreement contract will prevent these things from ever happening to you. Without one, you will be left enraged, powerless... and broke. If you want a booking agreement template and don't know where to find one, you can download the template I use here. Go well, and thanks for listening.

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