Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Dresden Dolls Rock Christchurch

Those of you who follow my Twitter updates may remember my free ticket score from @frankieMagazine, to go see The Dresden Dolls live a couple of weeks ago. All I had to do was 'retweet' a post from Frankie Magazine and, as Dr Sheldon Cooper would say, BAZINGA! My name was on the door for 7:30 at the Burnside Aurora Centre. Unfortunately the giveaway was only a single pass. I would just have to deal with being lonely. Feeling very independent and cool, I leave the house wearing Knee high Dr Martens and a red and white polka dot mini dress. Because I'm a struggling seventeen year old, I take the family Barina, and head out on my restricted license. In New Zealand the curfew for a restricted license in 10pm. I try not to think about this. I arrive early, not entirely sure what to expect. I had heard of Amanda Palmers' music, but not a lot of The Dresden Dolls, so I was excited to see what I was missing out on.

The Dresden Doll duo.
Upon my arrival I see a mix of different people. Men with long hair, girls dressed like they live in the 1800s, Dr martens and converse, gothic long black jackets. Even, 'gasp' dare I say it!? Piercings and tattoos! Im ecstatic, even though I'm here by myself, I've never felt more a part of a group like this before. For once, I actually feel underdressed. Im awkwardly embarrassed for a few moments, then realize that everyone is purely embracing themselves. I feel safe again.

I hop into the massive line and eventually end up at the front counter. My name is supposed to be at the door on a special Frankie Magazine list. Alas no, apparently my name was missed out. The grey haired woman at the counter gives me a look of sympathy. 'Don't worry' she advises, 'There was another girl left off the list too.' She gives me a sly smile, 'I'll let you in' she grins. Yes! The weight in my chest lifts. Only to be crushed back upon me when Im asked if I'm over 18. Theres a pregnant pause. I easily look 18, I could easily pass for 18, I have even been served as 18. One problem. The woman at the counter is still holding my drivers license.. after I handed it to her to prove my twitter identity (Even though I wasn't on the bloody list anyway!). Not wanting to lie (seeing as my ID is right in her hands) I bow my head and wince the words 'No, no I'm not.' The woman snatches my hand and stamps it with a wink.

A photo I took on my cell phone of the show.

As Im alone, its pretty easy to find a seat. I end up front and centre beside two older women, very pleased that I managed to swindle myself in, (so I tell myself). The above photo was taken on my cell phone so I  apologize for the poor quality. Not everybody has a smart phone. Before the Dolls come on the audience are entertained by the "Daredevil Chicken Club" an American busking act, who play catch with their mouths and pieces of banana. (surprisingly gross, yet entertaining). Later the New Zealand opening band "House Of Mountain" rocks the stage with some grinding tunes supporting Australian artist "Hera". In my opinion, she was a bit giggly and I couldn't tell when she was/wasn't being serious. Don't get me wrong, that can be a good thing! The rest of the crowd seemed content.

Daredevil Chicken Club.
There is an uproar of applause as the Dolls take the stage. Vocalist Amanda Palmer in a humble kimono dress, Drummer, Brian Viglione wearing a waistcoat completing his look with full circus style face paint. Palmer sings opening song "The cosmic Dancer" as Viglione plays acoustic guitar. The song is mesmerizing.
Its not long until Palmer ditches the conservative kimono Revealing a black bra. She begins to hammer her keyboard, belting out beauty and emotion in each and every song. Viglione is just as capable of capturing the audiences attention though, I've never seen a drummer perform with so much consistent energy. Through out the show, the Dolls bounce off each other with humor while chatting casually to the audience onstage. They encourage us to create a mini mosh pit and  play a cover of Science fiction/Double feature from the film "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" which everyone can sing along to.
Palmer on keyboard.

Time flys, and before I know it Im Cinderella, Its past 10pm. I decide to stay, curfew cant be THAT important. Originally my mum and I had a master plan. I txt her before I leave, (if the concert continues after 10pm). Something along the lines of 'Ok show is over can you come get me?" Which I very convincingly do send. I then wait for mums reply, (We both agreed she wouldn't reply so I could show this to the police officer in the unlikely event that I am pulled over while driving illegally.) The master plan is in motion, I can enjoy the show! Around 12:00 It seems like the show is about to wrap up, I head out the door, ready in line for autographs and photos with the band. I wait. Its now close to 1am and they seem to just keep playing! Disappointingly this is the moment when my cell phone decided to crap out and die on me. AGAIN. No camera. Slightly aggravated I leave, pretending to answer a call on my dead phone for the sake of the merchandise assistants (who have been eyeing me up curiously for the past half hour). Im assuming they were wondering what/who the hell I was waiting for...

I arrive home shortly after 1pm. Mum is up waiting for me. Thought I had been abducted. Silly woman. I hadn't been able to answer any of her calls because of my flat phone. I realize it had probably been over an hour since the "master plan" txt message was sent. Its understandable she is worried.

Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione.
Later when my phone is charged, I laugh when I read my messages. The last thing I sent to mum before I was "abducted" is 'There is a cool guy who looks like Marilyn Manson here!' No wonder she was anxious! Overall It was a great experience, even better because I got in for free and as a minor, even though I was not on the list! If you get the opportunity, Definitely go to a Dresden Dolls concert. It was beyond amazing.

Just charge your phone before you go.
A full license couldn't hurt either...

Thats me.

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Monsters were Born This Way.

Hi guys, I hope you were as excited as I was when I heard Lady Gaga had announced another World Tour! Those of you who don't know, I was lucky enough in 2010 to get my hands on a Monster Ball ticket, Fly from Christchurch New Zealand, to Auckland (still New Zealand) skip school and be accepted into the cult like following of Gaga as the 'freak' I was and still am. Tickets in NZ go on sale in exactly one week through Ticketmaster. One week!  7 days! Im anxious as hell to get my 'paws' on a ticket to see my 'Mother Monster' rock the city again. Personally I think she should come rock Christchurch, after the many earthquakes in Canterbury. Since the quakes, I have been to one concert! only one and i'm beginning to have withdrawals! But Im sold by Gaga's theatrical edge, Im going no matter what the cost or how much school I will miss. I think many fans across the globe will feel the same way as well.

Gaga in 'Marry The Night.'
The previous tour, The Monster ball was everything I dreamed it would be and better. I'm not ashamed to admit that I sometimes still close my eyes and imagine the lights, hear the sounds, and wish I could escape back to that moment for just one more minute. Recently Lady Gaga released a fantastic DVD Of The Monster Ball Live In Madison Square Garden. I bought it ofcourse. I was bawling my eyes out after the first 5 minutes! (Don't worry I laughed and smiled too). The point I am trying to emphasize is that Lady Gaga is relatable to everyone who has ever felt different or like the 'underdog' of the pack. Whether the difference is your sexuality, ethnicity, religion or even music preference I can say that I don't think there is anyone out there who hasn't  felt like an outsider before. If no one can accept you for you, Its their problem.

Gaga in 'Born This Way.'
 Gaga encourages diversity and sends loving messages to her 'Little Monsters' about acceptance and the simple fact that "You were born this way." In other words its OK to be abnormal. Its OK to be yourself and Its OK to become who you want to be. Therefore, I feel this phenomenal woman has genuinely earned the trust of her fans and become one of the most (if not the most) successful artists of our time. She is brutally honest and admits her flaws both in interviews and her music. After all, "No ones perfect."

A few days ago on  social networking sites Facebook and Twitter, Gaga announced the new tour.

"To give you a bit of insight on the design of my new tour, the central area within the stage will be known as "The Monster Pit." "The Monster Pit" is General Admission only, and Little Monsters unlock it when they arrive to the arena or stadium. Entry to "The Monster Pit" is relegated to the fans who have arrived first, waited all night, + dressed to "Ball." 

I can only imagine how many desperate Little Monsters will be clawing each others eyes out for the limited spots! But it seems fair, line up early and fight for your place (in a lovingly monster way of course!)

Garr!!! So the plan from here is to study hard, save hard and book flights for yet another unforgagattable experience. Did you see what I did there? - Im sorry Im breaking out the awful puns! Im just so darn excited! I will keep you posted on my ticketing progress.

Proposed staging for the new tour.
Thats me.
I will see you at the Ball!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Indoor concerts 101.

Hey kids, its been a while since I last wrote. The past few months have been pretty insane. Anyway, seeing as most of my 2010 consisted of concerts, I have decided to throw together a wee 'survival guide'.

Ok first rule, this applies to all. (However girls should listen up especially). Wear appropriate footwear! PLEASE! You have no idea how many times I have felt that awful stab from the wretched stiletto. OK, cool. You must already be really bright if you choose to buy standing tickets (which may I remind you, involves being smashed up against random, rowdy sweaty strangers who all want their music). If you want to go ahead and break your ankles thats fine, just don't spear peoples feet like kebabs. To all those gals who want to wear ballet flats in the 'mosh' pit, I mean this in the nicest way possible, but what the fuck?! who is honestly that stupid?! Unless your scotch taping them to your feet because you cant afford proper shoes, don't bother. After all, their only going to be easier targets for the idiots in heels to harpoon. The solution is easy, wear sensible shoes. I would recommend anything with laces really. Converse, Dr Martens, even skate shoes will do the trick. Remember Theres going to be heaps of shit on that floor. Be smart. Be protected. 

The second little rule is simple. Believe it or not, no one looks clever when they wind up to a Foo Fighters concert wearing a My Chemical Romance tee. Do you get the idea from here on? Yes, sure its great if you adore both bands. And yeah, the Foos may have been in the wash. The key thing here is that there will be several other hundred Foo Fighters fans at that show. There is that slight possibility that one of those fans happens to detest My Chemical Romance. Do you see the dilemma?  Unlikely, but it can get rough and I've seen it happen. Best to play it safe. Ask dear mummy to do the washing for you that week.

Next up, everyone with dreadlocks. Please PLEASE tie your hair up! I cannon t emphasize this point enough. I have nothing against dreads or anything, I think they are great and all. However, I do not enjoy being stung in the face by an over excited head banging lunatic as they thrash around 'expressing themselves'. -This one really sucks if the attacker has threaded beads.

Have you ever had that feeling of worried guilt whenever you see kids kicking a ball close to windows? you may not even know the kids or be part of the game, but you can see its just a disaster about to happen. This is the same feeling I get when I spot a tunnel or stretch piercing on a fellow mosh pit goer. Yes they can look attractive in rare circumstances, although often I feel they are the 'trend' of my fellow teenagers who haven't been strong enough to stand up to peer pressure OR, they lack the self confidence to be unique and happy with themselves. Possibly a little too deep? Well, here are my feelings. Why in the world do people think its appropriate to advertise themselves as live bait? I mean if an asshole came up to you with a world of abuse and happened to have a stretch you cant tell me you didn't at least think of ripping it out? Its an easy target for a fight. Just, if you have one, don t go looking for trouble.
No pockets I guess,

To round everything up, be safe, and be smart. If you have valuables that are absolutely necessary to take, eg: money, cell phone etc (Ladies, a crop top style bra can be fabulous.) Guys,,, zip pockets? Girls, don't  try to dance 'sexy' when you've chosen a heavy metal concert with bogans that want to thrash around and hurt each other - you will get in the way and piss them off. A note to guys, us girls do not like being felt up. Under any circumstances. Especially when the man of their dreams is probably onstage singing his heart out. I for one am not a fan of public displays of affection with total strangers. If your really that desperate, or creepy, get a hooker after. We came for the music. Don't be surprised if you get hit. The last point of this wee lecture is to have a plan and a meeting place for your friends so if someone does get lost or looses their phone etc they can get home safley. A tip that can work excellently for this is to discuss the meeting place BEFORE, not after the concert. Have fun, hope this may have helped.

Thats me.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Cindy Lou ...Who? - Taylor Momsen Returns

Early Days

Sweet but edgy

Loving the leather shorts

Taylor Momsen, the seventeen year old actress, model and musician. Most well known for her role as 'Jenny Humphrey' on the American sitcom 'Gossip Girl' and the role that kicked her career off, 'Cindy Lou Who' in 'How The Grinch Stole Christmas'.

Fronting her New York band 'The Pretty Reckless' with the hits 'Light Me up' and more recently 'Make Me Wanna Die'.
Personally I'm not really sure about her music yet, Sure the tracks have some killer sounds and lyrics, but for some reason I'm still not convinced.. yet.
 I will admit that the girl can sing a live gig, check out"

Momsen performing in 'The Pretty Reckless'
Not bad huh? well side from acting and singing, Momsen happens to have a very unique approach to fashion (or maybe it's her stylist) either way she's the one who winds up wearing it. So here it goes.

I'm loving the black grunge look, the lace and heavy eye makeup even though sometimes it can be a bit of overkill. Hey why not?

From the leather to the suspenders Momsen is definitely onto something, (however contradicting her trends may be to the media)

So here's a heads up for what may be the latest, hottest and most wanted trends that Momsen herself wears.

 Grunge Glam

Below is a photo of Momsen  in a styled look. 

Using the wonderfully amazing Polyvore website
I have made an easy template, recreating 

this style for those in need of assistance. Hope you enjoy.

Go for rough, acid wash denims and tough lace.
Mix with smokey eyes, glamor studs and dirty diamonds.
Plus long locks if you have em ! :)

Aside from the disappointing music video of 'Miss Nothing'(which pretty much shows Momsen floundering around in her underwear). Taylor, I am content with the Fashion. Still, convince me on the music dear. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Canterbury Earthquake Update, A few Days Later

One Of The Main City Roads
It's Been three days since the 7.1 earthquake struck the Canterbury area and already a clean up is well underway. After the first hit woke my family, out came the candles and well, mum's Bird Flu Box from 2006 which I found very funny. Indeed the time had come when we needed to use it (much to mums joy as well). Inside was pretty much everything you would need to survive ...... bird flu, yes we had about 8 boxes of tissues and several doses of paracetamol and ibuprofen as for water we used of clever evolved minds and filled up a massive cooler thingy in the bath tub (just in time as the water cut off.)
The Destruction.
After all that drama the txt's start coming through. Mums getting extremely angry at people who are clogging up the system and 'wasting battery time' asking silly questions and txting back things like 'cool' and 'ok'. As it's 5 in the Morning you can understand how my brother and I became bored, all this waiting for news and aftershocks (we both just wanted bed), but alas no the parents step in and deem the rest of the house unsafe. This means family sleepover!!! .... yay...
My brother and I snatch out all the bedding and make ourselves comfortable on a couch each I get out the good old i-pod and get watching 'Chiddy Chiddy Bang Bang' as its the only movie I've got stored (what the hell was I thinking). However the fun ends soon as mum spots me it's game over because I'm 'wasting battery' that I will later appreciate.

 Christchurch's inner City

During the day we hear more and more stories on the quake via the radio,  people having their chimneys smash through their bedrooms and family cars being crushed by debris. It's only when we finally get out for a drive to check a rental property that I realise how bad the damage really is. On the way we encounter many fallen chimneys, smashed down fences, sand volcanoes and road humps left over from the shock waves, and this is just heading a block  down the road!
As we get to the house we notice one of our concrete fences has totally mushed the neighbours garden in one long flat strip,'FLOP'. When we go inside, the damage is minor but still there, a massive crack runs along the perimeter of the lounge celling, a door no longer opens, there's a sink in the roof of my old bedroom and a few cupboard doors are open.

Lucky the previous tenants had just moved out otherwise there would have been furniture tossed around too. After all our inspections have been made we remember the previous tenants had had a stash of supplies in one of the bigger cupboards in case of a natural disaster. So we manage to get hands on 15 litres of water. Problem solved!

Whats left of a car in the central city
That night mum and I decided to sleep in the lounge because our beds were not really ideally placed for an earthquake or any other aftershocks. Two mattresses flop down beside each other in front of the fire. Later mum suggests I be aware of the fire that could still move forward and crush my head if there was another aftershock. Not the most reassuring thing to hear before you go to bed, but i figure if the 7.1 didn't move it, then how could an aftershock of 5.4? (or so I tell myself).
Ripped apart.
After a night of after shocks (many of which I slept through) we are up and ready to tackle day two. Boil and bleach the water (now that its on), get the phone hooked up properly and get into the clean up. Fortunately there's not much for us to do. The cat returns home now only for food however (the snob) and that night he snoozes on one of my backpacks in my room before desperately scratching to be let out, then dashing out the cat flap. 'Bring it on' I think, as another shock hits and I ride the wave with joy, then continue with my very important sleep.

No school till next Monday and mock exams have been postponed! Damn right they have. I will be sure to post further updates and will leave you with these photos.

More Road damage

Inner City Damage

Road Near City Centre
Road Mound

Follow this link for a news cast of the quake:

that's me.