Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Important Trends for 2k9, as ascertained from Camp A Low Hum, the underground fashion/band/aesthetic defining festival

Now that this years most important and meaningful festival has faded into repetitive and seemingly never-ending images on social networking site "Facebook", in some desperate attempt to "keep the dream alive", or as anarcissistic urge to justify yr hipster status with yr friends.

(TBH, don't actually know who this hot hipster babe is, but felt I had to protect her identity from web predators with a black bar across her eyes "just in case". Those excited hand gestures highlight the carefree attitude and good vibes that coloured CALH09 in the colours of old photographs

"just want my whole life to look like photos from the fifties, even if it means adjusting them in Adobe Photoshop/Apple iPhoto to make them look more authentic/rad" Jonathan Phillips, new 2k9 photographic mission statement

What this photo fails to address is the long term impact that CALH09 will have on the New Zealand/international indie music scene. While the anonymous hipster smiles a carefree smile and raises her hands in a gesture representing her immediacy, being "lost in the moment", the issues being addressed and challenged by the music of local and international acts/ the sartorial options displayed can, only in hindsight, begin to be understood and utilised in defining our individual responses to being a hipster in CHCH/ NZ.

(authentic facial expression probably expresses how many of you are feeling, where is the fucking gossip, just want to know about J. Chillips' "hot hookup" with "scene celeb" L. L. Watson/ the drug demons that plague entry level hipster Eamonn Mara/ mean street babes.)

Scene Gossip is really bad aye, and can really damage and destroy reputations on the scene/ reinforce stereotypes and create and justify scene violence, the writers of YrGoldenAge only believe in promoting "good vibes" and exciting new music/fashion/alt lifestyle opportunities that can "change lives."

Valuable Lessons of Camp 2k9

1. Widespread and seemingly unironic embrace of "The Edge", (lead guitarist of U2, not the mainstream radio station)

U2 made several surprising cameo performances at this year's leading underground music festival. Clearly hot underground acts Over the Atlantic/So! So! Modern!?/Secret Knives all had, instead of listening like most people, to Mount Eerie/Grouper on repeat, found redemption in U2's signature guitar sound.

Many of the Australians attending camp were a little confused by the wholehearted embrace of delayed arpeggiated guitar riffs:

"who the fuck are these guys? U2?!" some rad australian overheard during the SoSo Modern mainstage performance

"just want more chiming delayed guitar solos from bands, lolz" ironic quote from Jonathan, of Paint Yr Golden Face,

For a comprehensive overview on delay and the edge, for those local bands who really want to improve on their stadium rock show and impress a crowd- (the Klappies, Clap yr Hands Say Riot, B!ng B!ng ?ch!?), this website, A Study of The Edge’s (U2) Guitar Delay might create a sophistication to your band's sound/modern forward focused aesthetic to a band facing the issues of economic recession.

2. Post ironic embrace of the nineties, grunge bands, grunge aesthetic

(photograph by local photographer Christopher J. Andrews, capturing local scene celebrity/ heartthrob Ross the Model's new aesthetic. So many questions, Is dirty hair the new "clean hair"? Are you "into" his facial hair "approach"? Will ross the model define every season's authentic approach to fashion for both male and female hipsters? Will females start growing facial hair? so many unanswered questions )

ouch my face, the stabs, east brunswick all girls choir, dhdfds, wilberforces, mean street were all fucking rad at camp, and were all pretty nineties. I don't know how I felt about it all, I didn't think it was quite time for an "early nineties revival" quite yet, maybe it could be time to cut my hair into a bowl cut and preempt the brit-pop revival. It is probably unfair to pigeonhole bands to their nineties equivalents, but here goes:

  • stabs = nineties vibes, especially the drummer, probably the best/most authentic person at camp

  • east brunswick= vaguely jeff buckley-esque, without the shitty songs and whole drowning thing

Pompinos Magical Blast

  • dhdfds= vaguely early red hot chilli peppers, lead guy probably the best performer in contemporary new zealand music, apart from d."avey tare" woods
  • wilberforces/mean street = sonic youth

But what does this all mean for the average hipster in small town New Zealand? Is Wanganui our Aberdeen, Washington. Does that make Sets our Kurt Cobain. Probably.

It is clear that the early years of the nineties are making a "serious comeback this season." While popular Yr Golden Age sideproject "street flashion" was not seriously documenting the fashion approaches of New Zealand hipsters, (for two main reasons, firstly, Christchurch street fashion is superior, secondly, there were no streets at camp) it became increasingly evident that plaid is going to be "big this season."

However this grunge revival will not be "cut from the same cloth" as the US predecessors of the Seattle "Scene". Although check shirts and dirty hair were evident, in general trousers retained the tightness which has been a defining feature of pursuing an alt approach to fashion in the noughties. More common at camp, as a seasonal look, jeans were carefully cut off just above the knee. Who is defining this particular alternative look? Who suggests that this is the appropriate place to cut off jeans? Is this really a grunge aesthetic, or is everyone too self aware to really achieve an effortless and unaffected approach to fashion?

Pearl Jam = Completely Unaffected/ RAD Aesthetic

For the alt babes approach to grunge, wasn't really paying too much attention, I was more interested in listening to the new music, maybz if Darian was writing the post he could elaborate on some of the details aye, he spend a lot of time with babez at camp. I guess there is only one real example to look up to, she fucked Kurt Cobain (Good Vibes), and Billy Corgan (Probz really regretted the morning after aye)

Courtney Kobain-Love = Something to aspire to.

Hopefully this grunge revival doesn't extend into graphic design, fucking hate David Carson aye. (Although, bro knows how to pull a good pose/sell out/ "change the public face of graphic design"- Newsweek)

3. making really shitty music, but still being really popular

What with the show is the rainbow= average version of yacht/dan deacon, teacups = wannabe fuzzy fuzzmins and bonaparte= adult version of the wiggles : "who wants to bonaparty", it seemed the more mainstream/shit you got, the more popular you were. Bonaparty were seemingly everyones favourite band of Camp 09, it seemed that making the most unimaginative party music is guarenteed to win you fans. Even B?ng B?ng !ch!, seemed edgy in comparison.

Neil fucking Finn playing the main stage?

"not even tim, the "cooler" finn"- some hipster overhead during their set/the biggest event of CAL09 )

Admittedly they did have Elroy Finn playing, he is clearly the "dark horse" of the family, during a Finn family set that was the event of the final night. But it all seemed somewhat incongruous with an underground music festival that had Justice Yeldham on the main stage two nights previously. Oh well, just spent every day post camp listening to my "Recurring Dream: Best of Crowded House" reliving the memories.

"Walking down the room singing Stormy Weather,
at 67 Mount Pleasant street" - from the song "Weather with You" by Neil Finn, OBE, covered by Jimmy Buffett on his album "Take the Weather with You"

This amour de la merde continued throughout the festival, people cheering when maltstream beatz came on during the "baywatch" beach party, serious impassioned defenses of Kings of Leons Albums overheard near tent, 1.00am kareoke versions of metallica. Sometimes it didn't seem like I was at an underground music festival.

3. local scenesters/babez getting wasted and embarassing themselves

Local scene bad-boy Eamonn Marra getting trashed on speed/no doze, Laura Lee Watson, of hot and upcoming Christchurch supergroup Pop! Hits! City!, spending a drunken night with J. Phillips - the biggest "scene hookup" of 2k9? local celebrity/scene elder Fran passing out for twelve hours because of drunkeness? nick robinson being rushed to hospital because of mysterious accident? probably more gossip, but


"Scene Gossip is really bad aye, and can really damage and destroy reputations on the scene/ reinforce stereotypes and create and justify scene violence, the writers of YrGoldenAge only believe in promoting "good vibes" and exciting new music/fashion/alt lifestyle opportunities that can "change lives."


4. local blogger/correspondant darian j. getting highly terrifying

camp highlights- ruby suns, darian krumping? with the holiday with friends lead singer and anything that moved. We could only look on with horrified fascination.

Did I miss any important trends?

Will there by any more photo albums devoted solely to camp experiences?

Is Christchurch the Seattle of the Grunge Revival?

Should I invest in some baggy jeans/flannel, dust off my copy of Pearl Jam 10? Is Opiate by Tool an acceptable grunge album? Is it more authentic to listen to Tad and early grunge, or listen to new underground grunge bands from Leeds like Dinosaur Pile Up/Wonderswan?

Should I write some pop hits with jangly guitar and cultural appropriation/world beatz and headline next years Camp with my two sons?

Now that CALH09 has been covered by YGA, does this mean there is closure? Can I finally be "over" camp? What does the possibility of living without "camp" mean?


BANG BANG said...

the girl in fig.1 is Gabi from MSW!?!?

by the way , she is awesome!!!

jo said...
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Vors Vortis said...
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James Hurley said...

OTA were OTT. in a bad way. i was disappointed.
U2 comparisons are pretty lazy though bro. Secret Knives are genuinely pretty good, and SSM are about as far from bono as is possible. Would you prefer more 3 minute dance punk traxxx?
i offer my reviews, in the same style:
family cactus: wassup op shop? (sam norton is way pretty though)

aleks et les ramps: architecture in helsinki, sure. but no cam bird=good. also, way bass player melt.

paint yr golden face: hey, it's liars minus liars' progression. their cover was their best song.

teacups: i dunno but fuck man, i aint walking across no carpark for that shit.

sharpie crows: way better than anything else in this country, fuck you melbourne, give them back. anyone who slept on these dudes needs a slap. also best crowd interaction/sexy gyration on main stage (this wasn't a comparison, sorry)

tsitr: dan deacon minus taking himself seriously

mt pleasant: p4k in a blender circa '08 (OH SHIT DID I SAY THAT?!!?!?)

brains: band aesthetic=average

too drunk 4 dis shit.
night y'all.

Jonathan Phillips said...

U2 comparisons are pretty lazy though bro."

the u2 comparisons weren't mine, "bro". Over the atlantic were exactly as expected. Secret Knives were just too polished and clean, you know. I walked away from So So Modern. I dont like "3 minute dance punk" tracks, or any of their music.

family cactus were so bad, you are fucking right. Like amazingly mainstream, I thought i was listening to the breeze.

brains : disappointing

mt pleasure : better than brains, and that is all we ever needed to be.

A LOW HUM said...

hahahaha...dude, i thought you got what camp was, but you obviously don't. Camp ain't an underground music wank fest. Shit, its always just been "bands i like", fuck, i LOVE pop music, I got 6 U2 albums on my ipod, i listen to that shit all the time, dang...nothing better then delay soaked 80s guitars as far as I'm concerned.

Man, If i thought that some pop bands I liked would actually want to play at it, I would ask them.

haha, also, i mentioned MANY times, on blogs, forums and in the camp guide that Camp 09 was dedicated to my 90s, so there was meant to be an overwhelming Grunge prescense. Thats what i also had a dance stage, thats all i did in the 90s, listened to grunge and went to raves.

Nice review though, but, haha, don't assume what camp is, other then bands that i like. My favourite record of the last few years (other then mt plez of course) was a hip hop record, I tried to bring them to both the last two camps but its proving too expensive - but, 2010...well, i still am hoping to make it happen.

Maybe you shoulda stuck around to watch So So Modern, I ain't seen them play a 3 minute punk song in like 3 years, they pretyy much play 9 min prog jams now, which are fucken awesome.

teacups rule (except for their jokey songs - but their sincere songs are fucken stunning)

PS..Listen to Unforgettable Fire by U2 (except skip past the first two songs), try to push what an egg bono is to the back of your mind and take their records for what they are, great 80s pop.

A LOW HUM said...


I'm so proud of the fact that I can balance a festival with Justice Yeldham, Neil Finn, Mean Street, The Stabs, Teacups, Toecutter and Bonaparte and (non-jaded) peeps can dig all of 'em.

haha, I cracked up when I heard someone trying to describe Justice Yeldham to someone else, they had only heard him, and tried telling their friends that he was an experiemntal bag-pipe player.

A LOW HUM said...

"Secret Knives were just too polished"

hahahaha. I didn't even see that comment. Fuck, Ash will find that so funny. they had stuff all practises and were no way near as polished as he would have wanted.

you're a weird cunt bruv. really liking "She sends me" though, great track (just a little too polished..ya know..)

Jonathan Phillips said...

i loved camp, and loved most of the bands. yrgoldenage isn't just cynicism and klap hatred, its also, every now and then a website that features writing on topics. the topic that I wrote were trends of camp 09. while some I will retain a distance from, eg, the u2 delay soaked guitar thing, which wasn't really my thing, there was a lot of totally amazing stuff at camp.

For eighties pop, there are so many better choices than u2 though, like Talk Talk or Echo and the Bunnymen. U2 are the unfortunate conclusion of post punk, soaring power ballads that I don't really believe in. I will give an unforgettable fire a few listens, dig through my dads cd collection.

"music wank fest"

i dont think "underground music wankfest" is necessarily a bad thing, for every so so modern, there is something that is really amazing, like justice yeldham, something revelatory rather than just an eight minute cosmic prog jam. As new zealand has no other, that I am aware of, outlet for underground artists to share their music with an appreciate festival audience, camp a low hum is really the only thing that comes close. It is an underground music festival, even if some of the music wouldn't be out of place on the breeze: family cactus, teacups. Even those artists are still "underground", because only like 1,000 people know of them.

The Grunge bit was not negative, I really enjoyed all of those bands, I was using the review to say that grunge is going to be really big in 2k9, in fashion and in music, which is a good thing. Its better having someone who cares about their music, east brunswick all girls choir, than someone who retains an ironicool distance, mark holland.

"Maybe you shoulda stuck around to watch So So Modern, I ain't seen them play a 3 minute punk song in like 3 years, they pretyy much play 9 min prog jams now, which are fucken awesome."

I take my prog very carefully and exclusively from genesis/yes. everything else is "affected". I saw the first track of so so modern, with all the lights and dancing and extended intro. I thought how they could have been like Fuck Buttons, which was the music preceding them onto the stage, and how that would have been better. I could hear SSM echoing around the valleys, it was good to get away for a bit and talk about music with friends. Its a good festival in that you can just walk away and find a really nice spot really easily, its also a good festival because it caters to people that want different types of music.

P.S I don't know about bands like teacups, too twee, too cute, too much. Fuzzyfuzzmins are the same, like lovely people, the loveliest, but I don't really listen to that music really. It has to be sadder or sparser to really have an impact.

A LOW HUM said...

i know you dug it bro, and i knew you were't hassling the grunge thing, just pointing it out that not only was it a "trend" thing, i did purposefully plan it so that there was a very large number of grunge acts there. I agree that grunge is coming back..but, haha, the % of grunge bands at camp was def more then out on the street.

talk talk and echo are awesome of course, as are TONS of great 80s pop bands, but yeah, its all too easy to diss on U2 as so many people do, without taking into account that they are fucken good anthemic songwriters. Not everything needs to be introspective and haunting, sometimes throwing your hands up and signing along while waving the lighter is a worthy way of celebrating everything.

I've always found it funny that so many kids in the "non-pop" scene pay out so so modern, when a member of perhaps THE most influential non-pop NZ band Dead C had a fucken good time at their Dunedin show and was absolutey stoked on them. Danced even.

They are an easy band to write off, some resort to just thinking they are a reaction to new wave dance punk, others think they some sorta post mars volta disco punk.... but man, when youy actually listen to what they are doing sonically and rhytmically, its of a level so far beyond basically any band in NZ (i know that is a crazy big call), but some shows I have been floored by them, camp wasn't one of those shows, but shit..You can just get swept away on what each member is playing, even the vocal melodies on their new stuff (singy, not shouty) has harmonies that even folk bands can't pull off.

I can see why people don't like them, the whole costumes, good looking dudes playing all seems so 2006, but man, I can also see why people are idiots.

ya, camp is totally meant to have a crazy range of music. teacups were by far the twee-est...but if you noticed, there wasn't an overload of twee...just like there wasn't an overload of the other extreme - Justice Y.

There was almost an overload of noisy rock for me at camp this year, to be honest, i coulda gone some more twee/folk. The balance got a little skewed there at the end when i added some last minute rock bands and some folk acts pulled out.

I also lacked party bands. It was quite funny really, many people think ALL alh is is party bands, haha, i was seriously struggling to find a good amount of party music for this year...thank fuck that bonaparte and tsitr knocked that outta the ballground.

Haha, be interested to hear what you think of some U2 on a retrospective listen, don't expect Talk Talk or Echo and the bunnymen or Chameleons or Television...just enjoy it for what it is, forget about bono.

or just watch Bill Bailey doing the Edge...either or..

yrgoldenshower said...

Dude you think just because you have this little website you can go and degrade peoples art which they actually care about, which they went to the effort of giving us. Do you know how petty and pathetic it is the way you have used this shitty blog as a vehicle to degrade the people in this 'scene' in order to propel yourself to guess what? King of Christchurch royalty. Guess what buddy I think you've made it. By way your set at Wunderbar SUCKED ohhhh but I said on the internet, so it doesn't really matter HAHA ;)

Darian, Matt, Joe said...

we shouldn't ever criticize people's art because it took them a bit of effort to make? have you ever indulged in 'reading a cd review' or 'talked about a movie'?

yrgoldenshower said...

Its kind of an entirely different thing from critical review of art as most the time it verges on personal attacks and below the belt comments. It actually pretty sad

Jonathan Phillips said...


thanks for coming to my set at the wunderbar which I went to the effort of giving you, at least the australians really liked it. maybe you should play a show sometime, write some songs. its ok if you don't "get" or like my music. its pretty personal anyway.

yrgoldenshower said...
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mattatat said...

your tall poppies syndrome is actually pretty great jonathan.
'stralya rulz.

Jonathan Phillips said...

i said lots of nz bands were good matt, just not yrs

yrgoldenshower said...

Ok maybe your right buddy. Maybe I don’t 'get' your amazingly personal music just like I don’t 'get' your other amazing personal blog.

"I didn’t want the smell of condoms and semen"

Well maybe I should go to the effort to create some music or art but I guess I’d have to be an asshole on internet first to raise my profile.

The one bit I do 'get' however is it doesn't matter if your asshole on the internet or an asshole in real life your still an asshole.

By all means create something personal and share it with people but not in a negative way because I hate to say but you're going to reap just what you sow.

Jonathan Phillips said...

you can do whatever you want golden showers, but actually do something rather than criticizing me for occasionally making below the belt comments and reflecting the "scene's" predilection for gossip. until then i will get back to making my new album.

yrgoldenshower said...

Fine continue to degrade the people around you but the person you degrade the most is yourself.

mattatat said...

tall poppies syndrome doesn't USUALLY apply to bands who've only played twice. i really don't care if you like brains or not, you told me quite a while ago you didn't. and plus i played reeeeal bad at camp.