Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Let's all move into the inner suburbs and shut down the live music venues

It seems to be a recurring theme in the inner suburbs of Melbourne. And by the inner suburbs, I'm talking about the inner sanctum, those suburbs that circle the city and Albert Park Lake.

People want to move into these suburbs because they're perceived as "cool" and "funky". Nice restaurants. Lovely cafes. The odd trendy bar or three. And live music.

The next thing that happens is that they find themselves next door to a live music venue such as a pub. After realising that yes, live music venues do play music late at night, the aforementioned new inner-suburban resident is immediately on the phone to the local council demanding that the venue either beome a speakeasy, or close down outright.

These people are called "wankers".

Incidentally, anyone who uses the word "funky" indiscriminately is also a wanker. Only the following contexts constitute acceptable usage of the word "funky":

  • When discussing music with an emphasis on "The One", porno basslines and jinkajing guitars. Horns optional but delicious - see James Brown and Funkadelic for more information; and
  • When you need to ask the question of those around you: "What is that funky smell?"

My good buddy DJ Mohair Slim (of the radio show, Blue Juice - 11am to 1pm AEST Sundays, 3PBS) has circulated this complaint, which I have full permission to reproduce:

Dear friends,

If you ever hear that I’ve been arrested for murder, you will already know who the victim is. Some inner-suburban Johnny-come-lately, simpering wowser who complained about music at an inner-city venue.

You know the ones, the ex-Camberwell/Toorak/Brighton monied empty-nester a$$holes and who move into Fitzroy/Collingwood/Northcote/City with the full knowledge that these are busy, noisy, music-filled, social hotspots and then, by gutless letter-writing and telephoning campaigns, seek to quell the dynamism, life and art of these rare joyful places.


Unfortunately, political correctness in the 1990s spawned “a culture of complaint” in this country that has spread like a cancer. “Dobbing” in your neighbour for water use, driving with a mobile phone or loud music gives too many people a sanctimonious hard on. In reaction to this trend, councils and government have established efficient mechanisms for complainers to be heard by “powers that be”. The result is that the voice of the joyless fun-police is the loudest heard and has started to effected policies regarding music venues.

I love music as you know and travel to the USA every year to the most musical places, Detroit, Chicago, New Orleans and Memphis. None of these places (except maybe New Orleans in Jazz Fest) compare to Melbourne musically. Have you ever seen the New York City live music guide? We have more gigs every week than they do.

A myriad random factors have combined to create a thriving garden of music art in this town. Like ecology, there is a delicate balance at play here. Why, for instance, with almost identical socio-cultural, institutional and financial background does Sydney have none of this vibrancy? To continue the (admittedly corny) garden metaphor we must tend this garden (going to gigs, starting bands, patronizing independent record stores, supporting independent radio) and deter pests (the inner-city serial noise complainers).

The complainers have already affected or threatened the operation of numerous venues: Empress of India, Rainbow Hotel, Open Studio, Transport and now even the Myer Music Bowl.

We need first occupancy legislation, so authorities dealing with noise complaints have to take into account who was there first. We need purchasers of new apartments to understand that is it their responsibility to ensure that there is adequate sound-proofing.

I have become aware of this new web-based group - I’m not normally a joiner, but I’ve joined this one and offered my services for fundraising and other activities. I don’t know the people behind or what they plan to do, but, fukk, it can’t hurt. It might even stop me pushing some silver-haired harpy off a ten storey building.

Mohair Slim Blue Juice Radio Show
station PBS 106.7



The Hulk said...

I like Dikkii!!! Finally you have written a hard punching complaint. Great work. 4 stars from me for reaching the hard hitting level.

Dikkii said...

Hulkmeister, the only problem with this, is that I didn't write it.

Mohair Slim did. And he did a sensational job, too.

The Hulk said...

Fair enough. I retract my stars from you then and give them to Mohair. Should have known that you would not be that harsh. I guess you still have much to learn young Padawan. We can only hope that one day you will feel the Force and write a decent complaintthat has some balls!!!

Dikkii said...

Can I keep some of those stars for my intro?

The Hulk said...

Fine. But since it is only an intro I will give you one and a half stars. Thats a half a star to much I think but I seem to be in a generous mood so think yourself lucky.