Monday, August 27, 2007

Monday Morning You Look So Fine: Jax Panik

Typing this out late Monday, exhausted. Don't know when it will be finished; I doubt I'll see the end of it tonight. It has been a long week (or two) and while I had an enjoyable time in Cape Town, I found myself longing for a bit of Pretoria accent and bleached winter dust. While heading to and fro across the city and later (when my wife returned home from our "not"-holiday and I stayed on to work) from the Belville burbside, I found myself with certain words stuck in my head. I had been warned by some as to how infectious Jax Panik could be; the brainchild of one half of Soft Light City, Jax Panik is so pop it doesn't hurt, with an absurd vein of darkness buried so deep, you'd have to mine for it. And I love it...

"Hey baby, pass the remote control,
Turn down the voices on the radio...

I sit in traffic for days,
Make plans to get out of this place,
(While you still have a chance)." - Jax Panik

Keep an eye out for the video, listen to it, and you'll understand. It got me through the weirdest homesickness I have ever had to endure. That said, I did love my time in Cape Town, and would like to thank:

  • Rudi: Always a trooper, sunrise to sunset (and quite often from sunset to sunrise) who saved us at the airport come early, and handed over car keys with a graciousness that a Bedouin host would envy. Oh, and I owe you lunch buddy... next Chippies is on me.
  • Donnet: For not calling down hellfire when we missed her (21st!) party, for kicking it at Royale and sharing a sunset with us from her BoKaap loft and for brining me a little something back from the Tian Tan Buddha in Hong Kong.
  • Dominique and her family: For putting us up (and then me a further two days), for making the greatest soup and Dagwoods I have had in ages, for not telling anyone how we vegged and actually watched the Princess Diaries, and for waking me up at 2 in the morn all partied out, and then being embarrassed about it (there was no need)... Ingrid and I are really grateful.
  • Andy Lund: For having the cutest sprog on earth and for ambushing me for breakfast one day and reminding me why I spend time with him, for kicking it like a gentleman at the Juicy Lucy and for playing me his new album which sounds like velvet.
  • Punkskelm Productions: For Wynand and Brendan and all their co-operation with shoots and planning and all, and allowing me to regularly disrupt their work by just turning up unannounced and talking at them.
  • Blaise: For being a true gentleman, for many a mellow chat, for posing for a project and providing me (once again) with a space to work in, and for what he has in plan for the future... keep an eye out for Darcy & Frankie.
  • A King: For standing in freezing cold mountain air as various girlfriends held onto lights and I couldn't focus and we ran out of flares and almost set a farm on fire. It was Snake's idea. And it worked.
  • Hunter: For being a good sport even as we threw the book at him (literally), for giving me a couch on my last day in town, for accompanying me on a weird Durbanville hills ramble (that got cut short for seafood) and for having the good sense to find someone as special as Jani (whom I must also thank, for the couch and the lift to the airport when Hunter could not be woken).
  • Pierre Greef: For throwing the book at Hunter, for being something of an Afrikaans (and straight!) Oscar Wilde, for putting me up and feeding me (at what shall now be known as the Hotel/Restaurant /Bar Eet Greef), for having such grand parents that they still talk to me after reading the filthiest biography ever out loud in their kitchen, for specifically having a father that would wake me at 4:30 am to offer me coffee (my reputation, overblown, seems to have preceded me), for liking my music, for playing me his, for being my light tester and for letting me drive like a pig in more than one of his cars.
  • Albert du Plessis: For thinking that I sieve filter coffee through my teeth, for buying my work, for raving about Breyten in Dutch, for taking me and members of die bende on a road trip to Sunset Studios and Valiant's house (where Valiant and I discussed sick kids, as our daughters are round about the same age) and for having a sense of humour that only a select few of us understand.
  • Van Coke Kartel: For bearing with me through busy times... we'll get there Fran, no worries. Will watch the entire Godfather trilogy, and make you look like a star, I promise.
  • Jax Panik: For looking as flustered as I did while we tried to get our heads round a concept, for head-butting a set of vertical blinds, and then for having a paddling pool on his roof. At the exact time as that wonderful cloud formation came over Welgemoed. Crazy.
  • Waddy, Inge and the Blackheart Gang: For being part of phase one of the One Small Seed project, along with Hunter and Blaise, and for digging what I was up to as well as bringing their own suss along (especially Inge, who was sick at the time. Trouper).
  • Ingrid: 'Cos she never said a word while our holiday turned into an assignment weekend, and because there is no one else on earth who will get why I get a kick out of spending a Friday night in a quiet Fishhoek Spur (and will likewise spend it with me).
I hope I forgot no one. If I did, I will no doubt make mention of it at the bottom of this post, were the updates are listed.


Saturday, August 18, 2007


Try as I might, I cannot find a literary reference to balconies that deals with friendship rather than love. Everything is overflowing with sentiment, undertowed with lust. From Browning, to Wilde, to Shakespeare, to Baudelaire... and there are about fifteen different translations for Baudelaire's thoughts on them on top of it. So it goes. I suppose I could take a step back and write something gauche and contrived about windows, but I really couldn't be bothered. Friends also stand on balconies, though in a somewhat less inspirational manner to the (above) average writer, it seems.


Monday, August 13, 2007

Monday Morning You Look So Fine: The Constantines

"O young lions, this is your kingdom.
Every beast has its poison, every line has its victim..."

Still on the topic of lions? This past weekend has been a further revelation as to why I love this country, it's languages, it's music. And, of course, Oppikoppi. More on that to come (plenty more... I shot a lot of work while there) but for now the surreal will have to do...

Speaking of language, there were some of those that heard me on Radio Sonder Grense this night. I was a guest on the arts program Die Tweede Beweging, with Maja Marx and Johann Botha. It was a blast, though I was most likely off my tits on cough drops and Red Bull, as a result of battling through flu I'd picked up at the festival (which likewise affected most of Fokofpolisiekar.) Was a great discussion nonetheless, as I did my best to answer questions as to theory and methodology in Afrikaans; I hope I did the language justice. I seem to remember a weird fishing analogy that came through...

Another aspect of the show was getting to play my own selection of music; given that I talk so much, I got to play significantly less that I planned, but here's what eventually made it on:

Sodom & Gomorrah - Valiant Swart
Space Walk - Kidofdoom
What They Want - Tumi
Young Lions - The Constantines

Valiant, because that track is what kept me driving sane on the way to 'Koppi at 1 in the morn; Kidofdoom, because they had a legendary set at the festival, truly epic, and the song has in the past been dedicated to me, so I have a soft spot for it; Tumi, as he is a pioneer when it comes to MC'ing with a live band, yet was the only MC at 'Koppi this year to play with a DJ (and he ripped it); and The Constantines, as they are inspirational in their composition, performance and lyricism.

"Stumbling through the city with the ordinary birds...
Loosen your collar, shake off the wires.
Run like a river, glow like a beacon fire." - The Constantines


Monday, August 06, 2007

Monday Morning You Look So Fine: Ian Brown

"I’m alone in the country,
Took a walk in the country,
All alone in the country,
Blade of grass in the country..."

Not that these lyrics are going to make sense to anyone, but Ian Brown is perhaps appropriate for that... certainly the lyrics of just about ANY song of his have meaning for me, as his beats and all seem to somehow aid my thinking. Was rescued by him throughout London... iPod always in as I hit the underground, ala the video for Be There.

Anyhow, the lyrics of Lions first hit me when I got home from England... and they still resonate for me when I am planning something, mulling it over... bedroom vibes. If you know it, you'll get it. Like the image above... a very surreal sunset that, in the dust near a Buddhist temple... more to come on that later. It will all make sense, trust me.

Anyway, I also picked Lions as Ian Brown can also bring out my tendency to get browned off at others (excuse the pun) and this track seemed safe enough in it's obscurity. But...

"I’ll call you home,
Then you start delivering,
Taking my time then you start your quibbling,
Now I know your meddling, you’re still back pedaling,

I should have quit you a long long time ago,
There are no lions in England..." - Ian Brown.

Oh well... no offence intended. If you know the Ian Brown and Stone Roses story, it'll carry weight. If not? Buy headphones. Walk head well down. And check here for updates.