Are you a struggling Australian band, artist, record label or promoter? Do you often pour time, energy and money into art and music that you resign yourself you will never see again? Well I've got some great news for you! You will soon be unburdened!
That's right, no matter who or where you are in regards to underground music your life is about to come a whole lot easier. Why? Because we're going to FREE you of that burden! How? By shutting down all legitimate music venues (and there's been a big crackdown on Sydney's underground warehouse spaces too lately)!
I've already had a big crybaby rant about the various pressures that are forcing venues in Sydney to shut down (a quick summary; insurance costs, license costs, noise-complaints, higher alcohol costs, dwindling attendance - and many, many more) but now it seems that out esteemed friends to the south are also suffering similar problems.
I know that there is a tendancy for Sydney people to characterise Melbourne as some kind of amazing bastion of art, music and culture (or alternatively, to irrationally hate Melbournites for these very reasons). Melbourne always SEEMED to have their government and community on side. There are grand symbol statements concerning the commitment-to and importance-of art all over the city - even to an absurd degree - but that did not stop The Tote from closing down last week.
The Tote closed due to rising security costs ($80/hr), a hike in licensing fees ($4,289 up from $1600) and reduced trade hours imposed by Liquor Licensing Victoria. Licensee did not have the funds to fight the battle in court (around $15,000) - especially when the issue started with financial problems, and with the best case scenario probably being a 'scaled back version' of what The Tote originally was.
Now it looks like The Arthouse will soon follow suit. The licensee has decided not to renew the lease. The story is very similar; increased costs, reduced operating hours and stricter laws are making the business simply unprofitable.
From my point of view this is a good thing. It means less work. I'll have more free time since playing in bands will be rendered fairly pointless with no where to play. I won't have to write for this blog anymore because underground music will hopefully go away forever. I'll be freed up of all the hassle of trying to help run an independent record label and distro - and I guess I can just outright stop working on my new little project that will sell independent Australia artwork and music online. I guess I could fill in the time by getting into fashion brands or working out at the gym (and on my fake tan).
I mean seriously, why do we need our own culture or art when there’s plenty mass-produced for better profit margins in the USA? It's purely a business decision, and it makes perfect rational sense. Soon Australian music will amount to nothing more than manufactured global pop-stars, and all the grass root nurturing of music with credibility or new ideas will nicely be removed for us.
God I love capitalism.
Blue Mountain grindcore four-piece Beyond Terror Beyond Grace fly out to Melbourne today to play a couple of shows. Tonight they're playing with cool tech/death band The Ocularis Infernum at The Arthouse, then Saturday night they join grindcore alumni Super Fun Happy Slide as The Pony.
I wish the guys all the best so the Melbourne trip. It's really good to see a NSW grind band heading down there for 3 shows across 2 months (BTBG have also been invited to play Grindcore 2009!). After watching Beyond Terror for the first time in possibly 6 months last night supporting Grave, I have no doubts they will make an impression.
In all seriousness I was blown away by the progression of the band; they were tight as fuck and had an absolutely ENORMOUS sound last night. Alex has found some nice, full settings for his bass distortion and Ben's new Schecter guitar adds brilliant clarity as well as a thick bottom end. Steve's methodical drumming is always impressive, and Bart shows more energy each and every time I watch him. After hearing some of the newer material, I cannot wait until these guys head back to the studio.
Good luck guys!
Oh yeah! Raging nihilistic crusty hardcore punkers Graf Orlock hit Australia. They kick off their national tour with Adelaide's insane extreme tech hardcore outfit Robotosaurus TONIGHT at Fowlers in Adelaide.
Saturday and Sunday will be at The Arthouse and Transaction Cafe in Melbourne, followed by Louie's warehouse in Sydney on Monday, the ANU Bar in Canberra Tuesday, the Lucky Country in Newcastle Wednesday and finally Thursday the 31st of July at the Sando in Sydney!
A little elaboration on the Sydney shows:
Monday the 28th of July - Louie's: Graf Orlock (USA), Robotosaurus (SA), Schrodingers Cat, Yeah Bears. All ages. 34 Murray St Marrickville.
Thursday the 31st of July - The Sando: Graf Orlock (USA), Robotosaurus (SA), Ebolie, Hospital the Musical. 387 King St Newtown. Ebolie are replacing Slowly Building Weapons.
These shows are not to be missed! Hope to see you all there.