Monday, 8 August 2011

The A-sides

And so, three days from the month anniversary of our last post... the lads have come crawling back from the dustbin of... well... just a dustbin. We gave up living in a house for a while, because it was too mainstream. Thus, no blog posts, new found grizzly bear (not the band, the ursine animal) friends and an appreciation for dumpster diving.

Jeremy and Michael showing us how it's done.

And so, on a new note, the lads have decided to continue cracking open the clam-like world of the hipster as if it were simply a frail egg, lacking the crucial levels of potassium which would ordinarily render it strong and uncrackable.

This week, having only listened to the furious squalling of cats and the post-punk reggae beats of the famous bear-band "Unbearable" for the past four weeks, the lads decided that it was time to unpack the world of indie music...

And what better theme for our blog than that of a concept album? Aptly titled "[white noise]"


Track 1 - Clich├ęs and Coffee

 As with all of our blogs, it began with an obligatory coffee, with the lads both sporting new haircuts. Which they got on the same day. At the same place. By the same 2nd generation Italian man with a penchant for Collingwood, bad language and German sportscars. (But seriously, he's really good, Studio Oggi, Belmore shops, get there!)

Then the lads hopped on Pitchfork to do their groundwork (not an actual Pitchfork, that would hurt):

And what did they discover? Well apparently, Hipsters are into a few bands right now:

Bon Iver, Kanye, Sufjan Stevens, anyone who played at Splendour (excluding Coldplay), 50s swing, Arcade Fire, mildly talented buskers and mullet-era U2.
Also a Mullet

A Mullet
But there was one problem... in all of our research the same bands kept recurring again and again. In fact some would say that these "independent" bands were easily as popular, well-known and culture-driven as any pop band. Ever. Disappointing.

Clearly if these bands were making the top-100 albums of 2010 and 2011, they were not going to earn us many indie-points at all... and from last count... we needed many! (also to make up for the symmetrical haircuts we just got)

 
Mainstream.

Track 2 - Gigs
(This is evidently the boring track on the album, which is mainly useful for putting toddlers to sleep, or keeping nursing homes sedate, think Chris de Burgh or the Corrs...)

Perhaps if we went to indie gigs we could soak up these elusive indie points?

So here we are, at some gigs! Hoorah!

Modest Mouse

Noah and the Whale
 Well, glad that was only a three minute song... and rightly so. Naturally, just going to these gigs did not increase our indie points by much, particularly as there were more than five people at both gigs, and Jeremy and Michael were not allowed entry.

The Corner just couldn't bear the thought... and Jeremy was so annoyed he destroyed the ice-sculpture he'd spent all week creating. He just couldn't bear it...

Jeremy! Calm down!

Track 3 - Artful Critique

However, the lads came to realise that perhaps there could be a relationship between hipsterdom, gigs and review websites... if we were to critique these popular indie bands, surely we would gain the high moral ground of what Rupert Murdoch calls "slagging off"'.

Of course, we would need to find some sort of "getting there but hasn't actually quite made it" review website from which to launch our critical career.

And, what a coincidence, we stumbled upon four reclusive, strange men who owned such a website one dark night in a Nevada dessert... and they, being strapped for cash and very forgiving, allowed Chris to write a distinctly average review of a Modest Mouse gig, which can be read by following this "linky thing", it's sort of like a blue underlined portal into the interwebs... anyway, just click it! 

We met them in-between the cherries
Wireless Bollinger was the up-and-coming website onto which Chris' verbal diarrhoea was unloaded, and they were surprisingly lovely about the whole thing. Like a cuddle from your Mum on Christmas day.

This was all well and good, and frankly, writing a review of an indie band on an indie review website, is fairly indie, and allows us to hideously overuse the word "indie", but surely there were greater, more dizzying heights to ascend! Surely true Hipsters would have nothing to do with a piece of music that had been listened to before... by human ears. Surely the howler monkeys of the Amazon were more hipster than mere Modest Mouse? (not the animal)

Track 4 - In search of something new

And so, characteristically, this blog post will end with a photo montage of the lads doing stupid things... this time with pots, pans, glasses, instrument abuse and pieces of semi-tropical fruit.

Because, in the end... real indies never get signed.

After eating a delicious sandwich, the lads got to work on their new recording project. This was so indie it was to be recorded solely on our ears so as to preserve the anonymity and limited release aspect to the experience.




Playing the Tango...

Our cameraman was rather short
For fear of appearing sizeist, the lads adopted a more appropriate stance.

And now, having inadequately explained those photos...

To the Scores!

Going to three gigs in two weeks: 542
Paying to see bands: -321
Not seeing the bands in a field: -202
Spending four weeks in a dustbin with amiable bears: 1237
Moving back to society: -1237
Replacing Pitchfork with a suitably obscure yet amazing review website (Shameless plug for Wireless Bollinger): 998
Writing a review for said website: 734
Getting symmetrical haircuts, again, on the same day: -348
Recording atonal music solely in our ears:1301
Meeting the hipster owners of a hipster website near a gateaux: 2000 
Making a delicious sandwich (we're really just scrapping for crumbs here aren't we): 24
Making you wait for another post, not just because we couldn't be bothered, but because we're playing hard to get: 432


Total:                        9679 Indie Points
Level:                       Knitted their own kilts for highland shindigs.

To say that the boys now resemble eccentric Scottish lairds would be foolish, but only in the same way that Jeremy Clarkson uses the word. (If you understood that sentence, give yourself a pat on the back)

The world of unrecorded, unloved, and generally pretty crap music has been extensively perused by the boys on their journey, and much still lies on the road between Jacob, Chris and Grand Hipsterdom...

Have a lovely week. 

Much Love,

The Lads


Monday, 11 July 2011

What's in a Gene?

We understand that many of you are wondering why the last post we wrote was on the 24th of June... 


Is it apathy? You ask... General tardiness? Laziness? Lack of  strong coffee? Funds? Are we bored of writing a blog? Well possibly. But the main reason is...


Science! 


While some spend long winter days sunbathing in glorious Melburnian sunshine, or catching wild honey-eaters for obscure zoological experiments, we have been exploring the recesses of popular science.


Here's a picture of our favourite scientist.


N.B. Token animal picture

Oh dear. It really is like the Herald Sun isn't it....


The Quest
Over the past week and a half the lads have been hard at work...


You see, there is one mystical part of Hipsterdom that we had not yet covered at all, one area which we have so far failed to understand or interpret...  


We were now adequately hydrated, camouflaged and generally well equipped to become grand-master hipsters - in fact, Chris even has a poncho and has been brewing his own beer in a laundry.... (Jacob on the other hand has been working out yet again... idiot) - but they have not yet cracked the formula of the Human Jeanome...


To the Laboratory!

A laboratory? Like the one on Rochester Road?


Well.... no.


This one was built, designed and flown in from Austria with the specific aim of identifying the precise make up of the different categories of Hipster jeans. 


In particular the...


"Drainpipe"
"Crotch-Hugger"
"Used-to-be-owned-by-a-woman"
"I don't think I can fit any functional items in these pockets now"
"I could sing for a primary school boys choir" 
and the "Skinny" jean.  


Our research was wide spread and conclusive...


Not jeans at all.

Checking the PH.

Dynamic experimental jean therapy.

Our Hypothesis...

Having experimented for days, sacrificing sleep, food and the occasional animal, the lads had come up with a formula for the perfect indie pair of jeans.

And here it is...

P= the Perfect jean
C= Circumference of one's leg

C - exercise + 10% elastane = P
  3


Putting it into practice...
Armed with the results of their extensive and dangerous testing (Jacob sprained an ankle at one point)... the lads proceeded to apply their new knowledge in the most practical way possible. By wearing jeans. Profound.


A cheeky side profile

Look! This photo's slightly different to the other one!

Amazing. In fact, to achieve this effect, some would say Chris had bought a pair of jeans, then got them tailored so as to fit the formula more accurately. What commitment!

Chris excitedly holding his docket

His eccentric tailor.











Let's be honest, we really just wanted to put that silly picture of the dog in there. He's probably not a tailor. Though he does have a tail... or. 


HOWEVER. Once the lads had written their formula, and put it into practice, nothing much had changed... they still looked out of place in Church St. vintage stores, and couldn't  get into Arcade Fire gigs... surely their calculations weren't wrong??


Epiphany 
Chris and Jacob checked their sums again, and happened upon a small anomaly... the 3 that they had previously incorporated into their formula, was in fact 3 trillion, a slight miscalculation.


Of course! The numbers were wrong, and so were the jeans...


The lads revised their work, began stitching, sewing and inventing... and eventually, at around 3:00AM discovered the perfect pair of jeans.


Here they are, the perfect skinny jeans. Stunning. Why is one pair hairier though? 


And so, having found these jeans, we put them on...
"But they have nothing on at all!" said a little child.... named Hans Christian Anderson.


And without further ado... (it's funny because normally we do have further ado)


To the Scores!

Getting tailored jeans: 765
Referencing Hans Christian Anderson for no apparent reason: 58
Employing a dog as a tailor: 358 
Starting the day, again, with a coffee: 670
Vainly thinking that wearing track pants might be indie: -54
Jacob denying the chance to get an asymmetrical haircut, and a potential 20, 000 hipster points: -230
Becoming scientists: 128
Not getting caught by the police for opening a laboratory in Mont Albert (it seems everyone's doing it these days): 340
Going to triathlon training and a soccer match in Blackburn (they just don't learn do they): -245
Inventing jeans so thin they cannot be observed by human eyes: 1009
Actually just appearing half naked on a blog: -200
Thinking that you can check the PH of denim: -37


Total:                        4519 Indie Points
Level:                       Bob Brown.

The lads have certainly increased their independent capital this week. In fact, they now loosely resemble the private life of the head of the Greens party.

They now drink like indies, walk down the street half-naked and "fart in the general direction" of pop culture... but they still, surely, have much to learn...

Tune in next time for more tales of hilarity. 

Much Love,

The Lads



Friday, 24 June 2011

In Pursuit of Adequate Hydration


Despite their somewhat hipster fears of becoming cliche and predictable, the lads turned to their old weather-hardened friend the SAS survival guide, which had helped them in many tough scrapes before. Chiefly in a house party in Doncaster that got out of hand. And in North Korea.


One of the fundamentals of survival in a strange environment like Brunswick, or the mean streets of Fitzroy, is to ensure adequate hydration at all times... by either collecting water from a tarpaulin draped over a ditch, sucking moisture from the roots of mangroves, harvesting the water glands of certain pythons, or going to coffee shops. We opted for the latter, due to time restraints.


The Python: Time consuming


Disappointing, we understand, however, we're all about making the best of a bad situation, and we write the blog.

Once we'd donned our respective camouflages...


And mastered the art of invisibility...



We were off! To Mont Albert! Er....


Coffee Quests


We began our quest by nervously approaching the counter armed with shrapnel from North Korea. We were quickly informed that this was the wrong sort of shrapnel, and hastily rifled (not from North Korea) for silver coins instead. Having done this we were introduced to two strange foreign words "cappuccino", and "latte", allegedly the preferred means of Hipster hydration.


Would we be prepared for the consequences? Categorically, no. However, the instinct to survive was strong, and we preceded through these strange, somewhat burnt tasting drinks, which everyone around us seemed to be enjoying.




We hope the ensuing mix of fear, entrancement and bittersweet victory can be seen in this photo. Either that or it just confirms that Chris needs a haircut, Greta is a mistress of disguise and that Jacob took the photo. Either way, this photo has since been afforded critical acclaim similar to that of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings and Tolstoy's War and Peace.


Wonderful.


We then moved on to what we rightly identified as the most pretentious coffee shop within our native surrounds. It has a unicorn on the roof, yet refers to a pony in it's title... if that isn't indie, we don't know what is!


Undoubtedly a better attempt at hiding than our friend Greta, that's for sure. Points for the ukulele Eddie.




Jacob onto his 3rd coffee within and hour, and fast discovering the negative side effects of Hipster hydration. The SAS guide never mentioned this.


This place was almost entirely made of oak. Like Treebeard. And yellow aluminium, casually formed into some sort of hideous approximation of a stool. What kind of place would put up with such an abomination of a colour? Surely we had much yet to learn of the mind of the Hipster...


Not satiated by their desire for commercial coffee, the lads headed to the considerably more urban-indie streets of Abbottsford... a place better known as the set used by George Lucas for the  outskirts of Mos Eisley in Star Wars episode one... needless to say, we identified it as a Hipster congregation point by it's yellow stools... Who produces these things??? 


Photo montage... (provide your own music, maybe something by Sigur Ros,. or a Japanese wood cymbal orchestra?)


Yellow stools strike again, this time in Mos Eisley


Issues adjusting to our camouflage... apparently phones and wallets are too big to fit in skinny jeans whilst seated. 




The 5th coffee. Explanation unnecessary.

A fixie. Possibly more indie than the KIA Carnival. Anything this impractical must be indie.


Our Epiphany


Soon, though, after paying for many coffees, we realised the flaw in our plan. How could we possibly fund this lifestyle? If we were to be true indies, to work one day a week at a second hand bookstore and live in a terraced house in Carlton, where would we find the cash?


Surely true Hipsters would never actually pay for a coffee?? And the places that they frequent would certainly not be frequented by anyone else... it would probably be some sort of doctor's waiting room, the lower deck of a fishing ship, or a bird watching cabin.



The Pursuit of Free Coffee


We decided upon acquiring the most obscure coffees we possibly could. Armed with 2 litres of milk and a newly developed indie craving for roasted-bean-drink, we had two destinations in mind.... the humble abode of an obscure yet brilliant artist, Sally Darlison (sallydarlison.blogspot.com), and the reclusive hideout of a Christian schools ministry team...


There, and only there, would we find truly Hipster coffees. 


Our mistrustful, yet wonderful barista.

Contrary to popular belief, Christians make good coffee! (Does the Pope make good coffee?)

On a scale of one to stool....

Exuberant Melbourne artist and barista Sally Darlison (no relation).


And here's a long-necked turtle... and our fact of the day! Did you know, humans can impersonate animals! (Geez, with all these animals it's like reading the Herald Sun)




Well that was strange... and without further ado...


To the Scores!

Living off coffee for a day: 800
Drinking approximately 1 litre of coffee each: 97
Impersonating members of the animal kingdom: 58 
Not being able to fit useful everyday items in our pockets: 670
Mentioning an obscure yet brilliant Melbourne artist: 333
Not paying for coffee: 99
Inventing 2 coffee locations: 270
Training 4 times on a dedicated indie day (good work Jacob):  -793
Going to soccer and talking about the Premier League transfer season:     -630
Apathy in Action
Hanging out with Phoebe Darlison: 109
Chris getting a conventional haircut (symmetrical): -750


Total:                        1617 Indie Points
Level:                       Acquired Jeans that double as compression tights.

A good day for the lads, fueled by copious amounts of coffee and a new found appreciation for the Long-necked Turtle, they seem to be well on their way to reaching their ultimate goal.

We hope your thirst for adventure has been sufficiently quenched with this installment, but never fear for there will surely be another close by, riding towards you on a noble steed, through the milky haze of a latte gone wrong. 

Much Love,

The Lads

Monday, 13 June 2011

Camouflage

According to the 1996 edition of the SAS Survival Guide, step number 14 on the road to successful...     success....      is to perfect camouflage. And clean all weapons thoroughly with oil and boot polish most mornings. But we considered the latter part less relevant.

Surely, in order to achieve the title of Grand Hipster we needed to master the art of camouflage. And fast, if we were to avoid being consumed by ravenous, pop-culture starved maniacs wearing large rimmed glasses, who had exposed us as Rhianna fans (she is good, isn't she!) and consumers of mass-produced... products. 

That was a lesson we learnt in 'Nam, and we never forgot it.

Here's us with a young Steven Segal (centre) in 1965 on a morale boosting visit.


So off we went, with haste in our step, jumping into the Kia Carnival with glee and driving off into the dusky Melbourne wilderness... to Camberwell. 

"Camberwell?" we hear you say. "Didn't that score really low on your comprehensive poll of all places considered independent and hipster?"

Well yes, but we were listening to Belle and Sebastian at the time, and we arrived late for the Camberwell market, an act of such independent thought and apathy that it surely justifies our decision. That and the fact that the obscure obscure Korean car we were driving had no petrol.

The Acquisition begins...

 Unfortunately for us, arriving late for a market is not economically beneficial to anyone, and we could neither browse, nor acquire anything apart from photos and memories... and we got distracted by a bookstore and a very bulbous mushroom.

Mushroom
Bookshop














So we did what all self-respecting indies would do in that situation, and found a sweet retro clothes store nearby. Here it is. Look! An indie bike! On a ceiling... good.

http://www.facebook.com/againrecycle


 After much perusing, and fraternising with the friendly staff (who we would have asked out, but James Dean got there first), we compiled our uniforms. 





On our journey of clothing discovery we encountered the "baja", a strange amalgamation of Clint Eastwood's poncho, and a hoodie on acid, and generally expanded our repertoire of looks... other than blue steel, that is...


The helpful woman who James Dean stole.
Wasn't your grandma knitting you one of these?

A very postmodern conversation...



The lads sporting a Baja and sweater respectively














Well, we certainly learnt a vast amount... For example: we didn't know Cape Cod existed outside of preppie, pseudo-afrobeat pop music from the Eastern seaboard. And that sweet and sour sauce doesn't go well with chicken and chips. And that Jacob Darlison does't like the Libertines. But those are stories for another time.


And now, faithful audience, here are the scores you've been waiting for... not just waiting, but we know you've been depriving yourselves of sleep, food and the odd shower in anticipation of this moment, so it wouldn't do to keep you on tenterhooks for any longer. 

 


However, here's a fun fact... did you know Sea Cows are literally underwater cows?









To the Scores!

Taking photos of mushrooms and shopkeepers after the market has finished: 430
Fighting in Vietnam: -75
Meeting Steven Segal in Vietnam: 600
Thinking we could beat James Dean to the girl: -350
Putting the link of a retro store on our blog (www.againrecycle.com.au) :432
Discovering 'the Baja': 89
Wearing a Baja: 12
Not actually buying anything because of apathy and lack of funds:  35
Not actually buying anything: -70
Eating chicken and chips with sweet and sour sauce: -39

Total:                        324 Indie Points
Level:                        I just ordered a weak low fat skinny soy latte.


Out of 100, 000 required indie points, the lads have not only summarily failed to be significantly independent, but have also fuelled talk that they might appear in an edition of "Skins US". Oh dear. 

Tune in next time to see if the lads can roll into the thousands... on their quest to become.... 

Grand Master Hipsters!