It’s been a while but now I’m back… For anyone that would like to read any of my October-December output on Intertoto Magazine here are some links.
Dec 10- Media Ashes, 2DayFM Scandal
Nov 29- Getting Home From Auburn
Nov 22- Starting A Race Riot In The Name of Art
Nov 20- Nakagin Interview
Nov 18- Skyfall Review
Nov 11- MCM: A French Rap Education For An Australian Kid
Nov 7- Election 2012: 3.5 Stars
Nov 5- Why The Melbourne Cup Makes Me Hate Australia
Nov 5- The Tale Of Tila Tequila And Her Tin Foil Hat
Oct 31- The Un-Necessary Cash Grab Killing Facebook
October 30- The Finer Things In Life: Tim Snape
When I was 15, me and my friend, lets call him Tim, were at a BBQ at a friends house in Marrickville. His folks were away so maybe ten of us were hanging out in his house and drinking and eating sausages on white bread with tomato sauce. I had a bottle of gin, which I probably stole off my Mum (sorry about that Mum). Tim and I decided to drink the entire bottle, shot for shot, until it was gone. We went out the back, sat down with a shot glass each and finished the bottle in twenty minutes.
Next thing I remember was laying in the park down the road in a pool of my own vomit. There were kids playing sport and people walking their dogs. It was about 4pm. Not cool.
Some of my mates are down there looking after me/laughing at me. One guy who turned up late, lets call him Mark, rocks up to the park and starts laughing at me. He then says ‘Hi Jasper’ . I didn’t like his tone or the fact I was being ridiculed for being in a park in broad daylight, laying in a pool of my own vomit. I was too fucked up to tell him so I picked up a scoop of vomit in my hand hurled it towards him.
Now that was the first and last time I ever did anything like that. Not only did I feel like shit when I woke up because I had drunk so much in such a short period of time with no practice, I also was appalled that I would throw vomit at a friend. The shame was quite awful. Knowing I was passed out in a public park on a Sunday afternoon laying in a pool of my own vomit was nothing in comparison. This was a lesson I needed to learn. Throwing vomit at a friend for laughing at you because you are a fucking idiot is not only mean and inconsiderate it’s also really gross because you wake up with vomit encrusted hands. Its foul. Don’t do it.
I have been horrifically drunk many times since then. I have even thrown up on occasion. But one thing is for sure, I have never gotten that drunk since I was 15.
People need to learn lessons through experience. If someone can’t learn their lessons when it comes to drinking then they shouldn’t be allowed to drink. Instead of showing you are over 18 with a drivers license you should show an alcohol license if you want to buy booze. Of course there are ways to get around it (get someone else to buy it for you being the most obvious) but it might end up solving a lot of problems.
In Australia we are treated like children when it comes to drinking and when people get treated like children they tend to act like them too.
Let people make their own mistakes and punish them when they do. Don’t semi-punish everyone first and then properly punish them when they actually do something wrong. It’s a bad attitude and it makes everyone behave like jerks.
But anyway enough about that, I have decided to make a list of the top 5 drinks you shouldn’t drink and why. This is based entirely on my experience so please don’t be offended if you like to, for example, go to a bar on a Friday night and order a nice warm pint of Black Sambuca. I get it, different strokes for different folks.
Anyway here it is. My gift to you. Thank me later..
- Black Sambuca; One shot, regardless of how many drinks I have, will make me vomit. Absolute poison, don’t understand why anyone would drink it.
- Jamiesons: It’s the only alcoholic beverage that genuinely makes me fighty. McNulty from The Wire drinks it and look at him.
- Any kind of cheap, white tequila: Again this stuff makes me want to hurl. Patron is nice but I’m talking about that $25 a bottle shit. Well nasty. It feels like paint thinner inside your stomach.
- Red Goon: I spent like 4 months drinking nothing but red goon. Pretty shitty time. Tastes like the devils diaper. I get myself into trouble when I drink the sweet stuff.
- Jack Daniels and Coke: If I go out and drink JD and Coke all night I will wake up the next day with the worst hangover you can possibly get. The amount of sugar and whiskey involved makes you feel slightly perky at night but the next day you feel like you are going through chemo and you probably won’t survive. Nasty. Should be illegal.
Well I was going to write about the State Of Origin but I didn’t. It finished over 24 hours ago and the vibe has gone. Queensland won again. Sport can be a harsh mistress. Blah blah blah blah blah.
Guess you are going to have to wait until next year for that goldmine.
On my train trip home from The Cross this evening I was pondering what to write about. The moment had clearly passed for a commentary about a game of Rugby League most New South Welshmen would rather forget about. I had to think of something. My brain was in Homer Simpson mode. There was nothing but a fly buzzing around hitting my skull every three seconds. I had nothing. I had no choice but to pick up an MX.
For all three of my foreign readers I will explain. MX is a free newspaper News Limited give out to working drones at train stations in Sydney and Melbourne (and maybe Brisbane and other major cities in Australia but I haven’t done my research so I honestly cant confirm that to be fact). It is twenty-eight pages long. I guess about one third is ads. They cover some major news stories, the goings on in Sydney and basically the general everyday zeitgeist according to News Corporation.
Like most people, the page that interests me the most is the one where random people get to text in their opinions on random topics. There is also a column where lonely commuters try and get in contact with complete strangers they spotted on the train. I liked this one the best:
“To quite frankly the prettiest girl I think I’ve ever seen. You were on the Airport-line train and got off with your orange Country Road bag at Revesby about 8pm. Your beautiful red hair and heart-stopping smile made me nearly drop my MX. Coffee?” Nate.
Lovely isn’t it? Guys on trains perving on female commuters to the point where they know what brand their bag is, fantasizing about them to the point its all too much and they have to text a newspaper on the off chance this girl will read it and feel like a bit of a roll in they hay with a complete stranger from the 8 o’clock to Revesby. I think in a hundred years from now when we are living in some kind of bizarre Total Recall-meets-1984 universe all people are going to hook up like this. Every single man, woman and child will be constantly going somewhere on super high-speed kinetic trains and due to a global creepiness pandemic which occurred in July 2043 everyone will have to communicate via newspapers. Of course these newspapers will be made of transparent carbon touchscreen rice paper.
But allow me to digress.
The popularity of this paper is pretty unsurprising. There is just the right amount of news in here for the casual follower of current affairs. Most of the stories are about things which directly effect their readership (public transport, utility prices, taxes). There is a good helping of celebrity gossip and even a section dedicated with tweets from the rich and famous they see fit to publish (“gorgeous day” from Heidi Klum was a highlight). They also talk about animals, sports and the zodiac. They cover all bases to a point, it’s free and there’s always something vaguely interesting if you happen to open it. Winning formula.
Now some more cynical members of society may say that MX is a mind control tool which is bad for the environment and about as informative as a Valvoline commercial. I agree with these people. In this futuristic wet dream we call 2012 surely we have enough smart phones, tablet computers, ugly people and umm real newspapers to keep us distracted for half an hour on our commute. We don’t need it and we shouldn’t pick it up when someone gives it to us. Like herpes, just because it’s free does not mean its good for you.
So as some of you may or may not know I work in a strip club. Its ok but to be honest I’m getting pretty sick of the place. The one I work in is a good one where the girls are treated like humans and mostly make good money without having to do anything they aren’t comfortable with. That being said I have seen some pretty dark shit in there and honestly a year and a half I think may be my limit.
I have learned many things while working there. Things about Women. Things about hustling. Things about music. Things about business. But one of the subjects I have learned about more than anything is Men.
Men are strange creatures. Most Men I know all have a direction in life. We work hard to get somewhere. Our egos wouldn’t have it any other way. Some men take longer to decide what vocation is best suited to them. Others have known since they were kids. Some men are motivated by money, some by companionship, some by power and some by popularity. Most by a combination of these. Some Men read a lot, others just watch Channel 7. Some Men are confident with the opposite sex while others would piss their cargo shorts before they could ask a girl for the time.
Working in a strip club I have met a lot of Men. Some guys come in once and I’ll never see them again while some come in every day. We have a members show on a Tuesday and there are about five middle aged Men who show their membership cards for free entry, go into a dark little room and for fifteen minutes see a ‘free’ vagina. They normally stick around for about fifteen minutes after. They have a glass of water and discuss the girl who just danced for them. We also have customers who come in and book several girls for hours at a time ($360 an hour after 9pm in the VIP area). They buy shots and champagne and they party until about 2am then they go back to their unhappy wives. Wake up strung out. Go to their $200,000+ jobs and come back to get fleeced the next day. Like clockwork.
Some guys come in looking to get laid; others come in looking for a girlfriend. Whoever it is one thing is for sure in my eyes; strip club customers are a microcosm of Men in general.
While the average civilian Male may work hard in his field to have influence over others around him, the guy out the back with the bottles of Dom and the black Amex is doing the same thing. The guy at the stage tipping hundred dollar bills while the girl ignores the poor sucker with $4 worth of tipping dollars in his hand is flexing his muscle. Being a man. ‘She wants me because I have the money’ thinks the executive while the poor guy who had to get $20 out at the ATM around the corner so he could participate in frankly one of the silliest pastimes in western civilization is thinking ‘What an arsehole’ and ‘I wonder what he does for a living? I’m such a loser’. The guy with less money briefly aspires to be the cunt at the stage with the hunjies. Like some sleazy lost chapter of Alain De Botton’s Status Anxiety.
I have seen guys come through those doors flashing their money around like it was never going to end. One guy, lets just call him Adam, started coming in and he always gave about $400 to one of the security guards. I think this was because he was a bit of a lunatic and he liked to get into fights with people and he wanted his very own bouncer to back him up. Anyway Adam was some kind of Vice President of some big company and he just threw money around like it was going out of fashion. He eventually took a shine to me and basically paid me to hang out with him because I don’t think he really had any friends and he’d occasionally get rid of any girls who he didn’t want hanging around him trying to take his money. One afternoon he came in off his tits and tipped me $1450. I couldn’t believe it. I thought ‘Hey I’m going to look after this guy from now on, I might be able to afford that hair transplant I have always wanted’. Essentially Adam had turned me into a stripper and I really didn’t care. Anyway he kept coming in and for the next couple of months I would get tipped somewhere between $200-$600 every time I saw him. Then Adam started coming in and the tips got smaller and smaller. He would arrive at two in the afternoon and ask for drugs. Of course we told him we were a legitimate venue and not some sketchy hole in the wall one stop sin monger. The tips eventually dried up for everyone and then nobody cared about Adam anymore. Nobody has seen the guy for about eight months. I hope he’s doing ok…
The thing about strip club punters is that even if they do know that the whole point of the business is to drain every last penny out of you all in the name of a bit of titillation, they don’t seem to care. The titillation is what gets them through their lives. There’s one guy who comes in every single day who I could have sworn was gay. When the kitchen is open he’ll have a steak, sit by the stage and talk to the girls. He just loves the company. He works locally Monday to Friday but every now and then he’ll come in on a Saturday just to feel at home again.
Anyway I guess when the time does come to leave and get myself a normal job I will of course miss my co-workers and some of the girls who have made my time there enjoyable however I will also miss the freak show. The constant reminder that you are one messy divorce away from driving into the city every Tuesday night for a fifteen-minute glance at a vagina. You are only $100,000 a year away from spending all your evenings in some dimly lit and probably sticky ‘VIP’ room. Just a coke habit away from giving a huge Serbian man $400 a night so he can have your back if you decide to punch someone in the face for ‘lookin queer’ at you.
Actually fuck that. Have these people never heard of pornhub?
This is the first instalment of a new column I’m doing on jaspercliffordsmith.com called ‘The finer things in life’. Every week I will interview someone I know and talk about the things which they derive pleasure from. This week I’m talking to Liam Brammall. Liam Brammall is a nomad and folk singer originally from Sydney but now living in New York. Liam and I go back quite a few years now and I have always liked the fact he does what he wants as well as his taste in everything from food to women to music.
I caught up with him on Facebook chat this afternoon to pick his brain about the finer things in life. This is how it went down..
Jasper: Okay so Liam, you have just moved to America. Are there any delicacies you have gotten a taste for since your arrival?
Liam: Well, lemme see..The intricacies of pizza by the slice, New York style. It’s a whole new game.
J: How so
L: I had never really respected the margherita before; kind of saw her as a plain and cheap Mexican whore. But then I realised the magic of a good one. And the fact yr supposed to put chilli, and garlic and oregano and all sorts of weird American things that come in shaker containers on her. You can really judge a pizza place by its slice of plain. And if you can get for a buck or a buck fifty and it’s good, well that’s the money shot right there. But I mean I had all sorts of pizza in New York. Upper west side pizza, not as great as the price dictated.
So like New York slice on Oxford Street but cheaper, more authentic and much better?
Oh god no, I hate N.Y slice on principal. So much better, and really quite different. All they got right there was the shape of the slices. And I was always too in love with the old lady with a lisp across the road in the wog shop that sold $3.5 slices to go to N.Y slice and it’s $6 cardboard fiestas
Oh the Olympic pizza shop?
Olympic yeeros! Bang
They are fantastic. Anyway. New York..
So yeah, I mean the best consistent slice o pizza was from a place right on Bedford Avenue in the middle of Williamsburg. Right next to the L train stop. Hipster illuminati ‘hood. Just big ol’ fresh slices of pizza the size of Queensland full of fresh ingredients, they had a huge variety but the ones I got were mozzarella/basil/fresh tomato/garlic clove types. They had a few variations on that kinda thing.They were AAAAMAZING. And like $3 or so. And I’m talking the white Italian mozzarella, not the weird grated shit you get at Coles.
That kind of reminds me of the shop in do the right thing
Never saw it.
It’s pretty good.
So yeah, that was the Brooklyn spectrum. Kind of had the more old fashioned, homely pizza vibes. Manhattan is a whole different beast. Oh and might I just add, soda is so cheap over here, it’s like a buck for glass bottle fancy Mexican sodas and grape sodas and such. My Manhattan experience was many decent to goodish cheap slices of plain pizza, some more greasy than others, but there’s so many places ya hardly remember them, like girls on a contiki cruise, or so I’d imagine. But….The real winner for me was a place called ‘artichoke’ who, who’d of thunk it, had a fucking amazing artichoke pizza. But lets talk about girls for a minute. In the long and short of it, yes. (I think I can’t name names of go into details. off record, off record)
No no don’t name names. Privacy and all that..
To put it simply, New York is simply full of babes. Not plain Jane Sydney uni daddies a lawyer eastern suburbs dime a dozens but sophisticated, well-dressed and sassy subway creatures. It’s the land of 10 million babes. They’re everywhere. Falling out of subways, strolling through central park, packed like little hot sardines into bars. Oh, the variety! If I’d been taking notes, I would have ran New York dry of notebooks. There’s kind of too many of them, in an eerie way. A little twilight zoney. And by Australian standards, you can bat about 3 standard deviations out of your league.
Do you think girls who were the hottest in the their cities where they came from have moved to new york and found that they aren’t that special?
Yes! Nail. Hit. Head.
I think women outnumber men by a few precent in New York for some strange reason. My general impression of the women is that they’re up for conversation. They are more empowered, less crazy than girls back home. It’s a crazy city where everyone dates everyone and asking someone out for a drink isn’t a home and away melodrama. Hmm, maybe I’m being harsh on my homeland; maybe I just had a bad run. Or maybe it was my travellers swag, exotic accent and crocodile dundee-esque leather jacket.
I think being foreign does help quite a lot
Especially when you tell them one of your best friends dad’s directed young Einstein! Woo! That gets em happy chappy. Pulling yr leg there a little.
I can regale you with my attempted subway seductions.
This story will probs be in my biography as ‘third times a charm’. The first occasion, I change lines and get to go on a subway. It doesn’t move. A few minutes go by. I notice a smoking eastern European creature. Svelte, thin, pretty as hell and icy yet inviting dark eyes. And as I said earlier, you really can bat well out of your league in New York. The train doesn’t move for like 10 minutes. The occasional glance at this girl helps the time goes by. She gets off the train eventually. I wait another 5 minutes or so. It wasn’t even in my mind to talk to her, I was still fresh and town and not yet used to the fact that you could look at a girl, smile, etc. and not get instantly judged as a havas esque purve. So eventually I leave to find a cab. I’m going somewhere around Chelsea, actually to meet marc silver’s bird. Nice lass. So I’m trying to get a cab, it’s night, it’s Manhattan and busy, and lo and behold, train babe appears out of nowhere and she approaches me. Turns out we’re going the same direction. She doesn’t know how to get there, I offer to pay for a cab, bam, it’s on.
Sounds like something from a Woody Allen film..
We’re in the taxi, I’m smiling inwardly, turns out she’s Brooklyn raised, Russian born. And artist. Both her parents are doctors and she’s made somewhat of an art career out of medical themed art.
This is sounding more and more Woody Allen-y..
It was. She was very classy, smart, well spoken. Kinda had the ‘Ivanna Humpalot’ from Austin powers accent going on. We talk art, New York music scene blah blah. She’s pretty jaded with what’s going on in New York musically, which as time went on came to be a running theme of my conversations with the natives. Feeling lucky, I ask for her number, she obliges as we get out of the cab and bam. Done deal.
Sounds like you are living in a completely different world..
Well to cut the long story short, just to finish.I was new in town. Rookie error’d it with the txt I sent. Nothing happened. Similar situation a few days later, broken down subway, talk to pretty girl, get chatting, get number.. Bit of txt but nothing happens. So it was then I got to 3rd time lucky. I was going to meet this girl in Williamsburg who was a friend of Brid’s. She’d asked if she could bring along her attractive friend who was feeling sad and I said…sure! It’s late at night. Bout 1130 or so. Once again. Subway troubles. I’m living on the grand stop on the L and I had to get to a g train. At the place I was to get to the g train turns out trains are all being out of whack etc. not running on time, and only running on one line which means extra delays etc. And so I’m looking at the subway map, of where I’m supposed to go, it’s only 2 stops, I ask some questions to some fellow wall map lookers. And kind of do the same thing as the last 2 situations. Find pretty girl, talk to her. (Its ingrained habit I think)Turns out she’s heading the way I am also, so I offer to share a cab. She obliges. She’s real real pretty, kind of girl every guy I know has had a crush on at some point. So we get talking in the cab, she’s just moved here from san fran, I ask what for, she says music. Ha! I ask what sort and she says, ‘oh, sad girl folk, you know’. Jackpot! I realise at this point my previous two subway meetings were like Jedi training sessions for this moment. I ask her if she liked Townes Van Zandt (id been listening to him a lot) and she said yeah and went to tell this story about her recently playing a show somewhere in the south where he used to play a lot. and she played a Townes song and apparently a bunch of old guys came up to her and were like ‘Townes woulda loved that, he used to play here all the time, we knew him etc.
Coming from a Sydney point of view picking up girls on public transport seems creepy and weird but in New York its romantic and normal..
So yeah. Music. What’s going on over there? Are you satisfied?
Well, it segues nicely with this story. I get her number, we talk music etc. listen to her stuff, and it’s pretty damn good. Talk about playing shows etc. kind of thing I need to get me motivated to do my thing. I kind of get lazy and diffident about music and shit like this spurs me on to heights of mild self-admiration and confidence to do my shit. Later on that night, I meet the girl I’m currently with, instant chemistry, whirlwind romance etc. etc. so it’s all like some kinda grand cosmic plan to get me to stay in new york. As far as what’s going on…There’s just so much stuff happening, I think even New Yorkers are confused. Lotta good shit, but nothing great. No big movement. Not living on it’s laurels as much as its kind of like the calm before the storm, ‘what’s gonna be the next big thing to come out of this city’ kinda thing. And I mean I experienced quite the variety of the music scene. From hip loft open mic nights of high calibre to crazy parties with rappers dressed as pharaohs, to punk and blues gigs at Mexican bars in the projects.To going to a night that Kid Congo put’s on, meeting him, and seeing probs one of the best bands I seen in a while, K Holes. Kinda like as if Australia’s very own laughing clowns got mixed up with the cramps.
Yeah right. Interesting..Is there much of a scene for your kind of music?
So there’s a lot going on. I saw K Holes 2 nights in a row, the 2nd night being a benefit for this celebrity sorta dj (the good kind, soul, funk, garage. a good guy) who almost died when a cab drove straight through his hotel room. The benefit was at this giant surreal bowling alley, buncha cool bands, kid Congo got up with k holes and played ‘sex beat’ and ‘I’m cramped’ it was pretty pretty good.
I mean my kinda music? Maybe. I’ve just been strumming away on my own for the last few years cos I wanted to get good at song writing and lack the organizational skills to put a band together. I’m looking to put together a band in NYC when I get back. A guitarist who was invited to play with Cass Macomb’s and said no really wants to play with me. He’s a fucking great player. A mutual admiration for Robbie Robertson’s of the bands blues sorta shredding. And I met a drummer the one night I allowed myself go a bit crazy on the blow.
The stuff Max (Skilbeck-Porter, Sydney songwriter performing under the Vatican Girls moniker) is doing is good. He did it all alone on logic but it doesn’t sound computer-y at all.
Its true. Max is a genuinely great fucking songwriter. So yeah, I mean I hope there’s room for what I’m doing in NYC. I just wanna take my old timey songs and flesh them out band style. My favourite bands are still television, the stones, Mary chains etc. etc. so I’m fucking aching to make loud music again.
Well it sounds like there are more than enough musicians over there. Hot ones too..
And as I said, a lot of good stuff happening in new york, I kind of met the right people and sussed out the Brooklyn and lower east side scenes out fairly quickly. It just seems like the perfect time for some great bands to pop up. Indeed. You meet a lotta people who can make a living by playing guitar in a bunch of different bands who tour and make records. Mikey Watkins band, mutant genes are fucking sick. Real punk rocky Motorhead meets black flag vibes. Ironically playing a lot with some Australians I met through Zayd (Thring, Pets With Pets frontman) when he was in town.
What do you miss about Sydney?
Jesus, nothing that listening to (Ben)Tarwin and (Nick)Hollins show can’t provide. A bunch of really great but sadly small time bands. But I was so jaded with the city and the scene that I could barely appreciate it anyhow.The beaches. I miss them. It’s almost disorienting to not be able to get to a beach in 15 minutes in a car. Kinda makes me panic a little.
Maybe it’s just me but it really doesn’t seem like much is happening here at the moment.
So many people have said the same thing to me about Sydney since 2004 ‘Oh its about to happen…its all bubbling up, its gonna spill over’ It never did. It stayed legit and small time. Which is good but frankly it aint for me. The city, that is.
Local music movements died with MySpace/Soundcloud
Ha-ha. I agree.
But if I could tie it back to that slice of pizza. Artichoke. Great place for a slice. It’s like $4.50 for a slice the size of Texas and that’s considered ‘gourmet’ prices.Their speciality is this amazing artichoke pizza; it has kind of an Alfredo sauce, the most perfect base and obviously, artichoke. Bits of hearts. Art. I choke hearts.
So lately I have been trying to get in shape. You know the old cliché about going on holiday and wanting to look good when you go to the beach? That’s pretty much why I’m doing it. I have been going to the gym and yeah it’s been working out quite well however I’m still an inherently lazy man.
There is nothing I like more than food which is delivered to my door. I don’t care how much it costs as long as I don’t have to cook or pick it up. The reason I got a bit plump to begin with was due to pizza in bed being a regular thing.
I have decided to review some pizza places which I order from. They are all pretty much in the Newtown area of Sydney so if you are reading this in an opium den in Laos you might have to get daddy to buy you a ticket home if you want to try any of these.
Some I call more than others but I know the menus pretty well.
I generally only call Dominos these days before 4.30pm. I used to only order from them but there are better pizzas around (and worse) which you don’t have to pay as much for. Recently Dominos have lifted their game with the ingredients they use. The bacon is real instead of those chat little bacon bits, the chicken tastes like chicken…You are never going to get top drawer shit at Dominos or any other crappy pizza chain but they do deliver from 11.30 in the morning so if you have a brutal hangover they are good.
The more money you spend there the better the Pizza. Their supreme on a regular crust tastes like cardboard and it’s not worth the calories or the box it comes in. Because I’m fancy and I enjoy the finer things in life I always get the edge crust (toppings to the edge with a buttery, cheesy crust) and I add things like extra feta, olives and anchovies. It’s actually pretty decent.
One thing though, Sophie and I were hung over on Saturday morning and we ordered from Dominos and it took two and a half hours to arrive. They threw in an extra drink and gave us a massive discount but waiting for that long for pizza is ridiculous…Still they shit on Pizza Hut and Eagle Boys for quality and usually the service pretty good.
What I normally get: Godfather with extra feta and anchovies on classic crust, BBQ Chicken and Rasher Bacon w Cherry Tomatoes on Edge Base. Garlic bread and a bottle of Diet Sprite.
How Much? Roughly $40 including tip.
Ph. every store has a different phone number, refer to website
My mate Matt went to high school with the guy who started crust. Apparently he is worth about $50Mill now. He seems to be doing pretty well for himself then..
I avoided Crust for ages. There was something about them I didn’t really like, even though I had never tried their food I was just turned off by them for some reason. Having now ordered from them a few times I cannot remember why I didn’t like them. They are quite prompt in delivering your pizza, the ingredients are top notch and their menu is really interesting.
As I’m a creature of habit in the three or four times I have ordered from Crust I have got the same thing. Peri Peri Chicken Pizza. The chicken is tender and tastes fresh, the base is thin but not dry and the rest of the toppings are tangy and stay with you for a while.
I have had the odd slice of some of the other Pizzas they do too.
The pork belly one is a bit strange at first (Chinese pizza wtf?). Instead of tomato sauce on the base they have hoi sin which makes the pizza sweet. The pork belly is perfect, a bit fatty but it has crackling and there are some other toppings on it too which I cant remember at the moment but they all worked.
They do this surf and turf one which has wagyu beef and tiger prawns on it. Its champagne pizza. The meatball pizza is lovely too. I like a nice meatball every now and then.
What I normally get: Peri Peri Chicken pizza.
How much? About $25 including tip.
MELINZANA WOOD FIRED PIZZA ENMORE
Ph. 9516 1781
For some reason I never order from Melinzana when I’m at home. I really do like their Pizza. It’s been a while since I ate there but from memory their pizza was made with love using good ingredients and it was well seasoned. I find with a few of the traditional wood fired pizza shops that pop up the pizza can be a little floury and bland. Melinzana are not guilty of this.
From memory they do a really good Chorizo pizza and the supreme with anchovies is fantastic. All juicy and salty and perfect.
I only ever order from here if I’m at the Judges house because different share houses have different pizza places but they make great pizza and it really doesn’t cost that much.
What I normally get: Supreme with anchovies.
How much? Less than $20
Ph. 9550 6606
Manoosh is my favorite pizza place in the Newtown area. Their menu is fantastic, they always deliver on time and the pizzas are made well. They have also never once fucked up my order, which is nice.
If you are sick of regular tomato based pizza then try the Manoosh special. It has a Zataar base (ground up Lebo herbs and garlic) with feta, mozzarella, tomato, onion and capsicum. This pizza is also a good vegetarian option if you swing that way.
I’m not usually a fan of seafood pizzas but the Pirates Catch is worth trying. It has garlic prawns, mushroom, olives, fresh basil and halloumi on it. There is nothing about that combination which sounds bad. It’s a really fucking good pizza.
I dig their Meat lovers too. It has Turkish sausage on it that adds a spicy element to a normally sweet and fake tasting pizza option.
Manoosh deliver from 4.30pm and they usually get to my house in about half an hour which is great. They have different specials on during the week too.
What I normally get: Pirates Catch and Manoosh Special with a Garlic Bread and Diet Sprite/Coke Zero.
How much? $30 delivered. Booyah!
I am sure people who read this will have their own opinions, especially if they live in the same area as me. Everyone eats pizza and everyone has different tastes. I have eaten heaps of the shit though and I can’t fail Manoosh on anything. Its cheap, tastes great, gets to your door quickly and the guy on the phone seems like a total sick cunt.
I would also like to say that Arthurs Paddo is really bloody excellent too but I don’t live around there so they cant deliver to me, Cyclops in Dulwich Hill are great but I’m about a kilometer out of their delivery zone. I still haven’t been to Maranellos in Concord yet but I hear its pretty amazing. Steve the guy who started Maranellos used to run Da Vinci’s in Summer Hill back in the day when they were good. As soon as he left Da Vinci’s got shit. He is the Jimi Hendrix of Inner West Pizza. A true magician.
I love music. People who don’t I think are missing part of their soul and when I come across these types I run. I have listened to a lot of music in my life but I know I have merely scratched the surface. To think that some people are just happy with the Foo Fighters and Red Hot Chili Peppers and that will do is absolutely heartbreaking.
I earn my keep working in a strip club in Sydney called Men’s Gallery. It’s a great place to work and I have made a lot of friends working there. MG is on the ‘classier’ end of the spectrum as far as strip clubs go. It is furnished with red velvet chesterfields and the girls who work there are all literate, free of any serious substance abuse problems and they are more or less a beautiful group of women. The clientele range from mega rich (black amex holders, barristers etc) to young cashed up tradies to broke dirty old men on disability to gangsters just looking for a good time.
It’s pretty diverse.
At work I am the Entertainment Coordinator. This involves getting the girls on stage (weather they want to or not), overseeing operations on the floor and of course, looking after the music.
Eighteen months ago, before I started working at MG, I was involved in a little Independent music startup called Chocolate Jesus Industries. We put on little festivals, small pub/warehouse shows, club nights and we even had a crack at management (a terrible idea in hindsight). My music vocabulary then consisted mainly of underground bands and producers from Sydney and Melbourne. We have to know our shit because we needed bands to book. In this period of time I discovered the brilliance of bands such as Reckless Vagina, Kira Puru and The Bruise, Piano Is Drunk and Brous.
Although it’s probably been about eight months since I stopped doing all that I feel like I have lost touch with what is happening in my own back yard. My job requires me to work every Saturday night and most Fridays which means when there is something I would like to go to I cant because a diggas gotta eat nahmean?
Sometimes I wake up in the morning with a synth line from one of the top 40 songs I am forced to play/hear at work. David Guetta, Pitbull, Rhianna and her charming ex playmate Chris Brown are all on the menu at work. I like some of this stuff, get mildly annoyed by most of it and hate the rest of it.
Here is a list a list of artists I have come to appreciate after having to relentlessly hear their boastful drivel four times a week for the last eighteen months:
Black Eyed Peas
And there must be more but at the top of my head I can’t quite think of who they are.
I think I like Will.I.Am as a producer far more than I like the Black Eyed Peas. Some of their songs make me want to throw up (I Gotta Feeling), others I think are total bangers (Rock That Body). Pitbull is a rubbish rapper but occasionally works with a decent producer (see Lil Jon on I Know You Want Me). Akon I think is all class and I still am yet to hear an Akon song I don’t like.
Chris Brown is clearly talented but I think its wrong that he should still be in the spotlight after the absolute hiding he gave his (frankly irritating) ex girlfriend. Any woman who still likes him is a fool and personally responsible for him, and others like him getting away with it.
T Pain is cool. He can be cheesy as fuck but I like the fact his instrument is Auto tune and it has influenced less mainstream artists (directly or otherwise) like James Blake.
When I first started working at MG I thought I knew what kind of music should be played in a titty bar. I have always loved Hip Hop and I thought playing Dilla productions and Bounty Killer would work. It might but I’m not allowed to play it. It has to be super loud, contemporary rnb. Lots of synths. Zero subtlety. Everything compressed, pitch corrected and turned up to eleven. Management complain otherwise..
ARTISTS I NOW HATE THANKS TO MENS GALLERY
Black Eyed Peas
Obviously I’m not Katy Perry’s target audience. I can live with that. I do find her squeaky, American pink vomit music disgusting. Anyone over the age of twelve who likes her is doomed. Although Gaga is nearly as bad she still has that bullshit fashion/aesthetic thing people big her up on. What does Katy Perry have? Russell Brand and pimple cream. Good onya bitch now fuck off and stop being famous.
David Guetta is a disgrace to French people. To think he comes from the same land that produced Serge Gainsbourg, Daft Punk, Air, Sebastien Tellier, IAM and Justice is just confusing to me. No wonder he is on tour all the time, those little hoodrats from the Justice clip are probably marching around Paris looking for the washed up old smelly rapist.
Anyway that is what I think about pop music these days.
PS.I also forgot to mention I love the fact Nicki Minaj is huge. It is a sign that you can be way off conventional and still make millions of dollars. GOOD FOR HER!
I love sport. I love watching it, I love talking about it, I love what it does to people, I love the passion, the psychology. I love sport.
I don’t really play much sport these days. As I mentioned in my previous post I have gone a little hard on myself in the last decade or so and am good for about fifteen minutes before I need to pack it in and go to the pub. In recent weeks I have tried to rectify this by going to the gym (almost) daily. I have noticed a definite improvement in my general fitness and energy levels, which means by the next football season I may be able to do a solid ninety minutes in a division 42 comp. Time will tell.
Since August I have been living in a nice place in Camperdown with two rather sporty men. Gene, when not selling high quality Australian designed wicker furniture for Lavita, coaches a ladies football team and plays opens football. He had a sparkling couple of seasons in the late 90’s (maybe early 2000’s, sorry if I got that wrong) for the now defunct Sydney Olympic. Gene loves football almost definitely more than anyone else I know. He supports Man U, which is a shame, but his passion for Cantona/Fergie makes it almost understandable.
Mikey is a basketball fan. He likes to watch the games in Genes room because he has an IQ box up there so whenever he sees a play he likes he can rewind it, watch it back and squeal like an eleven year old at a Bieber instore. Mikey goes for the Boston Celtics in the NBA but he also watches college ball and plays several times a week with the Asian boys down near Central station. He is dedicated. Mikey loves Basketball and in return Basketball loves Mikey.
I myself am not really into Basketball. My main sports are football (soccer to all you AFL/NRL obsessed weirdos), cricket and darts. I casually observe Rugby League and I follow the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs. I am in an NRL tipping comp at work and I do OK.
Cricket is the best GAME in the world (note: football is not a game, it is a year long obsession). Since I was a tot I have been attending the Sydney test in January with my Grandfather, Brother, Uncles, Friends and other random folk I only ever see at the SCG. When I first dropped out of high school one of my first jobs was doing the SCG/SFS Sports Space tours with my sport/Australiana-obsessed uncle Loz. I learned heaps about the culture of the game. The people, some long dead, who have created the feeling almost everyone gets when they arrive at any of those venues. I learned its not just about the game, its about the people. The fans create the vibe. The fans generate the money. The fans build up the egos. The fans watch it all unfold.
Last year I developed a taste for a sport, which offers something completely different to the sporting palette: Darts.
What I like about darts other than the suspense, mathematics, music, chicks, lager and spectacle is the fact that no matter how fat, lazy or drunken you may get, with a little bit of practice and a shitload of aim you too can be a professional athlete. It’s comforting. My introduction to darts came at a time where I was letting myself go a bit. Cooking mushrooms for breakfast with a dickload of butter a cream. Clem’s fried chicken and potato bake for dinner. Drinking way too much. Darts for me became an outlet for my flabby, lazy, chain-smoking ass. I too can be like Kevin ‘The Artist’ Painter, Ted ‘The Count’ Hankey or Simon ‘The Wizard’ Whitlock. These guys don’t work out. They eat deep fried food, they drink, they are going bald but they are on top of the world. Athletes? Probably not. Heroes? Absolutely.
When I worked for the SCG I went and watched the Sydney Swans play the Adelaide Crows in the AFL. The game was fast paced, the atmosphere was electric, and the crowd was colorful. It should have converted me but for some reason it didn’t. Maybe I found it too twee and Melbourney. Maybe I found the rules a little stupid. Basically I got the same feeling from AFL that I get from wrestling or beach volleyball, a great spectacle but as I have no connection with it I simply at the end of the day couldn’t give a fuck.
Which leads me back to Football. I have supported Arsenal for as long as I can remember. My dad supports Arsenal (however he has admitted to me he followed West Brom for six months in 1969 after they won the FA cup), my brother supports Arsenal, I want my kids to support Arsenal. I generally get along with anyone who supports Arsenal even if it’s the only thing we have in common. I lived in North London for a while a few years ago. I get the club.
Between 2006-2010 my interest waned slightly for my club/football in general. I was busy with music. Nothing else really mattered to me then. Playing in a band, starting new projects, hanging out pretty much exclusively with musicians. Music was my life. Football to me then was a distraction. Music was truth and musicians had the answers. From about 2011 I stopped playing as much. Two bands I was in (Warhorse and Arkestra) broke up and other things became important to me like my job and a new relationship. I suddenly found myself going out less and moving in with Gene and Mikey. The day I moved in Gene and I watched the replay of Manchester United v Arsenal. United beat us 8-2. It was the bollocking of the century and the first full Arsenal match I had watched in about a year but strangely enough all the old feelings came rushing back. In that hiding my passion came back louder than ever. I just wanted the best for my boys. I wanted every other Gooner in the world to recover and unite after this. I also remember how much I fucking hate United.
I guess the point of all this is I know heaps of people who couldn’t give a fuck about any sport. That’s ok. I apologize if you see me around and I am talking to Ben or Oscar or Fence or Nick or Dan about Hulk’s 100 Million-Euro release clause or how Walcott plays better coming through the middle. I’m sorry you are so bored with this stupid conversation you don’t get but the truth is this is a life and a love truer than anything else. Sport will always come back to you and it will NEVER go out of fashion.
Until next time..