Sunday, September 30, 2007

Cultural identity matters of colonised societies; the dilemmas of developing a national identity after colonial rule

Fuck you Alhambra Bar and fuck you bouncer on a power trip. The dress code said 'neat and tidy', not 'no shorts', cunt! All I wanted to do was to watch my girlfriend's band and review The Paper Scissors for a magazine that would support this local music and the magazine that was being launched this night and yr venue. Even after I caught a cab home and back and changed from shorts into jeans it was clear this bouncer jerk was getting his jollies from not letting me in. But oh well, you made me angry and this was actually pretty liberating. It made me realise that maybe it isn't the sort of thing that I want to support or even go to anyway, yr pretentious bar with a dress code so hypocritical that yr bouncer who can barely string a sentence together could unsurprisingly not explain. Girls can wear shorts or sandals but boys may not. OKAY! At least this has inspired me; more house shows! Music with substance not just fashion! Wow, what a revelation. Why didn't I think of this before?

It made sense, then, for me to go to Brisbane's Parklife dance music festival a couple of days after this wonderfully unfortunate night at Alhambra at the UV Magazine launch. It was a fun day beginning with a bottle of red wine in my friend's garden, a walk in the sun to the botanical gardens that somehow managed to hold 20,000 (!) fluoro wearing Gold Coast jocks and a bunch of nice people too. One such nice person kindly slipped a little "THESE ARE REALLY STRONG!!!'. He was right. It was a lot of fun stumbling about in a sea of fluoro not knowing what exactly all this music was or what I was doing here or why I was having so much fun. One of the highlights was eating one fried 'chicken finger' and taking 10 minutes to chew and swallow it. Dancing ridiculously in a goog-induced frenzy to some French popster called Yelle was great but I had a much better time stumbling upon friends and making dirt angels in grassy dirt with them. Then, the reason for it all: M.I.A.

OH SHIT. This was so much more amazing than I had thought. The crowd was reasonably small for her performance because dance giants Justice were playing at the same time. Wearing a Romance Was Born sparkly sweater with gnashy white teeth attached she had the audience reeling in the whole package that she's so carefully put together. She pulled about 20 girls up on stage to dance up there with her.Hyper-coloured projections of dangerous and militant images as well as those more purely feminist, there's a strange and necessary aggression behind her pop. Those baile funk horns of 'XR2', sheesh. It's a weird contrast, really; political activism meets Kylie Minogue-esque pop performance. It seems so carefully put together, so cleverly engineered but for mostly the right reasons, not just pop success. I think? There's certainly a level of commodification, of politics being 'cool'. Even if it is heavy-handed, it's infinitely good if she can stimulate discussion amongst the type of presumably non-politically engaged wide-pupiled Parklife goer.


Anonymous said...

Were said from Alhambra Incident shorts on display at Parklife?


Mel said...

I saw M.I.A. at Melbourne Parklife and I don't know how many people were at Justice because it felt like everyone in the world was at M.I.A. I was towards the front so I got a pretty good view when I wasn't being squished and shoved from every direction, especially from the dude immediately behind me who kept grabbing my arse.

Did she burn a copy of her visa at Brisbane, too?

richard said...

that's probably the difference between brisbane and melbourne. justice would've been the big draw card for brizzz i guess. i don't think she burnt a copy of her visa. pretty badass!

richard said...

oh. different shorts btw emily


Anonymous said...

good to see yr changing yr stylez up!


gervin said...

Would've never picked you to be an M.I.A. fan, Richard. Her set at Sdyney was epic. Damn near started a riot.

richard said...

yeah, who doesn't like M.I.A. though? it's such an internet thing though isnt it. nerds love it because its easy to get yr cultural theory on about. plus its got fat beats and unknown sounds, well, they're known now but when arular came out all those blogz went crazy. she has something like 190,00 myspace friends!!!!

Carlos said...

M.I.A. in the Sydz was rad. I saw Battles a couple o' days before, and definitely enjoyed our girl more. Crowd was well into it - I had to stand at a 150 degree angle to avoid a spiky haired goon from taking out my face.

Oh, but it was all about the cultural theory.