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20 Things I Learned in 2008

1. Never SMS, drink and pose for photos while standing perilously close to an unfilled hole containing a pointy metal foundation post

2. The sun rises in the west in Queensland

3. Skipping across a school oval with another guy singing “I’ve Just Seen A Face” may cause impressions of homosexuality

4. The addition of Jagermeister does not improve the taste of Red Bull

5. It is preferable not to question the arguments of Irish Catholic dramatists when one’s English teacher is an Irish Catholic

6. People don’t eat leaves and the only safe thing to do is pray

7. When organising a birthday get-together at a licensed venue, inform the underage guests that should they choose to exit the premises once security has arrived for the night, it is extremely unlikely that they will be able to come back in

8. The introduction of “structured celebratory activities” by the school does not decrease the probability of traditional muck-up day happenings

9. Electric cooktops are cheaper for a reason

10. When walking to a location to which everybody else is driving, make sure to ascertain exactly where it is and, failing that, try not to walk in the wrong direction once you get to the wrong place

11. Never question the logic of a mad epistemology teacher

12. Bringing a Maoist propaganda book to class as a joke may cause some of the international students to believe that you too are a communist

13. Accordions are heavy but fun

14. Sleeping on couches significantly shorter than one’s height can be quite the uncomfortable experience

15. Never stand between an adolescent girl and a Stephanie Meyer book

16. There is an inverse correlation between the amount of mockery levelled at one’s music teacher and one’s chances of being selected for Music Captain

17. Holding a chair/music stand/etc… and walking nowhere in particular with a determined look on one’s face gives the impression one is actually contributing to cleanup

18. The “Toast-O-Matic” at the University Open Day was just a bunch of Science students with toasters behind a panel of flashing lights and random gauges

19. Never watch seven straight hours of David Lynch films, especially late at night

20. If you are expecting to see an MA-rated movie and sit down in a cinema filled with children, you have probably made a wrong turn at some point

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The Bawdies (with The Happy Endings): East Brunswick Club, 5 December 2008

The BawdiesI promised to start blogging again after the end of exams, but it hasn’t really worked out, has it? I mean, I’ve written three posts since then. Hopefully, the blogging lethargy will wear off soon, and to that end here is another post.

Last Friday, I went with some friends, who had just returned from the Queenscliff Music Festival, to the East Brunswick Club. We went to see The Bawdies, a Japanese rock band they had seen at the festival. The band was co-touring with The Basics and supported by The Happy Endings, both local acts. 

Firstly, The Happy Endings were very good. I always appreciate decent support acts because I never go to gigs expecting much from or knowing much about them, so when they are good, it comes as a pleasant bonus. I also picked up that some of their songs sounded very similar to other artists, among them Foo Fighters, The Killers and Jet— although whether the band was influenced by these artists or if it were just coincidence or over-analysis on my part is debatable (not that anybody would really care to debate it…).

The Bawdies were absolutely fantastic. Their music was unpretentious, simple, old school rock’n’roll. They looked like a Japanese version of The Beatles and their enthusiasm and joy gushed out of them (as did a fair amount of perspiration, given the fact they were clad in suits and ties). Although their music was not groundbreaking (many of their songs were 12 bar blues or followed progressions such as 1-6-2-5), they certainly did not lack instrumental skill (evidenced in Jim’s brilliant guitar playing) and delivered greatly as performers, entertaining the audience and really getting them pumped.

dsc01065Definitely my favourite of The Bawdies (and not to imply that the other members weren’t great!) was Jim, whose massive toothy grin and childlike, ecstatic manner was very entertaining; as was his showmanship, which included energetic guitar solos combined with the appropriate “rock god” posturing or kneeling into the adoring crowd, his floppy hair flapping around. 

All in all, they were very enjoyable to listen to and although I would recommend checking out their songs on last.fm and their Myspace page, the entire power of their performance only comes across live. Before seeing them, I had listened to some of their songs online and liked them, but it was only when I saw them live that I was blown away.

They were also very fun to talk to after the show, as I talked to them while I obtained their autographs on my souvenir poster. It turned out that most of them knew about as much English as I did Japanese, which made for an amusing exchange of what little I remember of that language– gems such as “どうぞよろしく” (“pleased to meet you”), “子の音楽はとても楽しいです” (“This music is very fun!”) and “ボーヂーズが大すきいです” (“I love The Bawdies”). However, they were very friendly and only too happy to oblige when asked for a photograph (which I will upload when Cheryl puts them on!!!)

Unfortunately, I didn’t stay to see The Basics but was informed they were nothing special. Apologies to that band if they in fact were, however it was a very fun night indeed.  I will be sure to see The Bawdies again next time they’re in Melbourne (barring a death in the family, namely my own). 4.5 stars.

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