Monday, January 9, 2012


Been too long since I blogged here. Lets get to it!

Southbound: an awesome music festival located a few hours drive south of Perth just to be cruel to anyone who doesn't own a car. It's ok though as I took the fun and expensive Transwa bus all the way down. Someone took it from Perth to Mandurah for some reason. Public transport: you're doing it wrong. There's a train that goes from Perth to Mandurah, it gets there faster, and it's cheaper.

But anyway. Southbound! I didn't camp because a) I don't own a tent and b) Why camp when I could just go visit sister's boyfriend's house and sleep in a nice comfy double bed? Yay 2nd option!

I also didn't pay for Southbound either because a) who has that kind of money just lying around after Steam sales? and b) Why pay when you can volunteer for a dozen hours and get in for free? Yay 2nd option!

My volunteering duties involved gate staff mainly but I for a bit I handed out programs. So if any of you 2012 Southbound goers are reading this then I might have been the one to scan your ticket or hand you a program in a lanyard. I have long red curly hair so I stand out from the rest of the volunteers.  Scanning tickets is good. There's also room to screw up. Every now and then someone's ticket wouldn't scan (especially at the start while I was still learning how to use the device) and people would be like "oh no" and I'd be like "calm down this is fine, happens often" then someone would come over and correct my mistake and the campers would head onwards to the campgrounds, some of them with their wide loads on trolleys knocking the bins for discarded tickets over and making a mess but oh well.

Interesting things that happened:

While handing out lanyards with programs in them someone said "thanks lady"... Dude seriously? I know I have long hair but I had stubble too, come on.

People kept confusing me for someone who knew things. "Can we just camp anywhere?" "Ask the person just over there in the yellow jacket that is directing campers about where to camp."

There were trolleys supplied by Southbound to help people carry their things through the gate but they had to unload their stuff right there next to the gate and carry their camping gear from then on. Guess who told people this... guess who kept asking "aww dude no, come on man can't we just take it over there for a bit? I promise we'll bring it right back!" Guess who was walking around the camp grounds the next day going "oh look there's a southbound trolley... and another one... and another one... and another one..." Bring it right back, yeah right...

"Hey would you like a free program?" "How much is it?" "..." - this happened multiple times.

The security guard didn't trust me when I was going to Staff Registration to sign off for my shift. All the other security guards were pretty cool but this one guy saw my staff shirt and didn't seem to think it meant anything. I had to convince him that I was staff and I needed to go that way so eventually I get through, sign off, then come back and wanted to exit the same way (which led to the camp grounds because I didn't know my way around at that point and didn't realise that the other way would've been quicker to base camp) and he starts checking my lanyard for an AAA pass which didn't make sense because a) it's a program, duh b) why do I need an AAA pass to get into the camp grounds? I had at that point a blue weekend bracelet on so I should be let through. All moot points because I was just there 5-10 minutes ago! "Dude you recognise me! I was just here!" He gives me a look of disbelief. I think someone was fortunate enough to be passing and told him it was OK for me to get past and join the festival.

The cool thing about Southbound is you can learn things about people's drug habits with ease. It's so easy, you just have to sit in one spot for long enough and someone will come to you and go "hey man... I'm high right now." Some guy had taken some herbal thing from some hippie shop (apparently legal... don't trust legal drugs kids, anything artificial is bad for you. Stick to illegal drugs as they've been studied so at least you know what will happen to you if you take them) and was having a not so pleasant high. He felt wired and wasn't mellow at all so the guy next to him offered him his drink and he was turned it down. By this point he'd divulged how he normally takes LSD and ecstasy. "You take LSD but don't drink alcohol?" His reasoning was that alcohol is lethal: drink driving, fights, alcoholism etc. "You don't get addicted to LSD." Well he had a bit of a point there but I still thought there were some dangers of LSD besides addiction and death in a car crash (which, by the way, will happen if you attempt to drive while on LSD. People just tend not to do that).

He left so the other guy starts talking about his drug habits. Can't remember what drug it was but apparently you shouldn't take it if it's expired because it makes your muscles sore the day after and temporarily causes shrinkage in the manhood. We both agreed that's a way better anti-drug campaign than the death aspect. "DON'T DO DRUGS OR YOUR DICK WILL SHRINK!"

So that pretty much just doubly enforced my opposition to taking drugs personally. You know, bad trips and tiny dicks aren't my thing.

I was disappointed initially with my volunteer duties as I was meant to be doing something like 14 hours and my Sunday shift cut halfway into Josh Thomas and friends (which was my reason for going in the first place...) but then I went to see Arj Barker on Saturday and turns out the "and friends" bit goes for half of it and isn't too interesting anyway so I was like "yay! My shift will end and I can rush over and get there just in time for Josh Thomas!" but then the next day they were like "well you're gate staff, and everyone's already here so you're not going to do any ticket scanning anyway so we'll let you go early." I ended up picking up garbage for 2 hours (only cans and bottles because I wasn't general waste so didn't have to handle anything awful. Yeah there was some crazy stuff lying around... things I can't describe, things I still don't know what they were. There was a used condom and a thankfully not used tampon. The guy I was walking around with who was doing general waste had a claw thing to pick stuff up and was still like "nup... too far..." That wasn't really even the worst kind of thing you find lying on the ground. Campers are messy. Really messy. Some camp sites were horrific. Near the fences was vomit. Somewhere in the middle of the camp grounds was a bottle with feces on it. How... what... what were the circumstances that end up with someone rubbing a bottle in feces and then leaving it between tents? What happened here?) Only 2 hours of picking up trash and then most of the day free. Success! Saturday I had to work from 7am-3pm, Sunday was just 10-12 and there weren't any shows on before 11 so yeah. Sweet job.

But yes, the comedians were awesome. By "the comedians" I mean Arj and Josh. The "and friends" bit wasn't so good. The MC for Arj Barker was a bogan with only a few laughs but I was just waiting for him to freaking leave. Then came Tennis who was amusing a bit but were musical and musical comedians aren't as joke heavy as they need to balance the two elements so I let that pass. Arj Barker was hilarious. He talked about Avatar, did his bucket list bit, talked about getting high on methamphetamines and cleaning the house... not his though. (The interesting thing was the next day the aforementioned 2nd person to talk to me about their drug habits said the exact same thing. "Arj Barker said that" "Yeah but this actually happened to me too." The moral of the story kids is leave your doors unlocked so a man on drugs will clean your room for you and you don't have to) The MC for Josh Thomas wasn't too good either for his first bit of stand up. He was alright don't get me wrong (better than the bogan one) but his biggest cheer was for dropping his vodaphone plan. Oh well, I laughed so it was good. Then comes the mid act who I can't remember the name of and probably neither can anyone else because they've blotted it out of their memories and generally wish to forget his whole existence. He was "the fat guy from The Amazing Race" but also unofficially "the worst comedian in the world."

"No no, Dane Cook is." You say.

No. No you are wrong. Dane Cook, although a massive douche and capable of talking at length of the most banal nonsense he can think of, actually has a few good bits which I are enjoyable. His thing about the atheist sneezing is funny, look it up. This guy... this "fat guy from the amazing race" was the roommate of the MC which explains why he was there: nepotism. That is the only explanation I can think of. Connections man. I don't think the guy had ever tested his things in a club or bar before because if he had then he'd have quit his job as a comedian and done something else that didn't require talking too much. Sorry to be harsh to the guy but you know if you can't get laughs from a crowd that's been drinking then you should reexamine your career choice.

He started off mediocre and went downhill. His best line was about how people go "you're the fat guy from The Amazing Race!" and he goes "I don't need you know... but maybe when I'm older and I have Alzheimer's it'd be good for the nurses to come up to me and go "You're (name)! You're from room (number)!" That was the start. One of his big problems was taking subject matters that aren't funny unless handled gracefully and with a lot of good wit and have potential to be really offensive... and then he made bad puns about them. He talked about Christians complaining about the gays destroying Western civilisation (which translates in stage speak to "hey look at my shiny shovel guys! Watch as I start digging!") and where to go from here? "That's bulls***! I'm muslim and we're responsible for the destruction of Western civilisation!" Oh dear. Oh no, please stop. "What if Al Quaeda and the gays got together to work on a team effort on destroying the west..." Oh please stop. "What would they call themselves? Hmmm" Don't even bother dude we all know where this is going. That's why we're booing. "How about Al GAY-da!" Not so much of an awkward silence as an audible cringe from the audience there. So the guy next to me goes "well that joke bombed" to which I replied "you should be up there instead! That was far better."

He left shortly after that. It looked like he had more material but it was about that point that he realised that those few scattered chuckles he got earlier about the Alzheimer's was the best it was ever going to get and he had lost the crowd long since and was never ever getting them back. The MC came back on and somehow managed to turn the crowd back from a disgruntled and disappointed mass of impatient 20 something's to a bunch of jolly festival goers. Why he kept his best material for then I don't know but it was great. It was about drugs! (A recurring theme it seems at Southbound) Even from an anti-drug stance his pro-drug stand up was funny as anything.

Then Josh Thomas! Aaaahhh Josh Thomas! JOSH THOMAS! Everything he said was hilarious. His awkwardness was adorable, his delivery impeccable and unhindered by a few repeated words, his improvised lines were witty and wonderful. His adorable awkardness was brilliant and his obviously empty threats of violence were comical. He was just amazing. He knows how to work a crowd, he knows he's funny, and even if he doesn't seem confident he still works with it. It was worth suffering the worst comedian in the world to get to him (sorry to the dude for being harsh but man, I really do suggest he quits. It's just too much of a blow to his self esteem to have people booing him so he needs a job he's better suited for where people can like him and judge him less). He talked about coming out and boyfriends and such then he ran out of things and his time was pretty much up and said he had to leave so I (and some other people) were like "awww" so he stayed a little longer because someone asked him to talk about his dog. He loves talking about his dog so much he was very excited. Truly the highlight of the festival for me.

I missed out getting things by The Jezabels signed! They were signing things at the merch tent and I saw their latest CD there for $25 (ridiculous! Everything is so expensive it's like the movies but worse.) and I had about $26 in my wallet at the time so I was like "OK... I could either eat... or buy this CD and have it signed at 6:30." Well turns out it didn't matter because after The Jezabels finished their set there was an hour and a half to the signing so I figured I don't need to buy the CD now... wrong! Half an hour later the CD's were long gone and my decision was made for me. Oh well. There'll be other festivals...

I was diligent as a ginger to maintain a constant layer of sunscreen on my poor pale skin. This worked to a degree... My arms were fine don't worry. But I managed to get burnt in one small patch on my leg just above my sock. Not even the entire exposed part of my leg just a patch. That's nothing. It doesn't even hurt.

The top of my head on the other hand... ouch. 2 days straight in the sun from the very morning to sunset. Top of my head had no hat and now is red as anything. I don't want my head to peel! Aggghh! NOOO!


Anyway, bands I saw include:

  • The Naked and Famous
  • Grouplove (well a bit)
  • Aloe Blacc
  • The Grates
  • Regurgitator
  • The Wonderful World of DJ Yoday (well just a bit which I watched from a distance while sitting down on a convenient bench because my feet hurt like hell... my goodness he was awful. I'm sure if your tastes were that genre of music you'd disagree but my goodness it was just... what? Dude played random clips from things like family guy and different movies while terrible music played. Meanwhile he's bobbing up and down while standing in front of a laptop. You might as well have just pressed play on a prepared track and left... that's what I think of DJ's.)
  • Arctic Monkeys
  • The Vines
  • Tim Finn
  • Missy Higgins (against my better judgement. Dan Deacon bored me so much... so I sat and listened to Missy Higgins as one of the lesser of two evils)
  • The Jezabels
  • Metronomy
  • Fleet Foxes
  • The Kooks
  • John Butler Trio
Most of those I hadn't heard before so now I have a few new bands to get the music of to enjoy. Unfortunately I couldn't see An Horse because they were on early Saturday and my volunteering duties ran right through it.

It was so much fun but by the end I was just dead tired. It hurt to sit, it hurt to stand. I just needed to sleep for 10 hours and lie in bed reading for a bit to recover. I spent half of today watching movies and reading and now I am ready for normal life again. Normal being the internet. And speaking of reading the first four books of A Song of Ice and Fire and the Hunger Games trilogy arrived in the mail and were waiting for me when I got home from Busselton. Together they're a bit heavy and so I'm looking forward to getting through them once I've finished The Day of the Triffids.

I'd love to do volunteering at Southbound next year if there's anyone worthwhile seeing. Great fun and free things are always good.

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