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12 brief notes on australian customs, The Clash translated by reggie watts, and other OZphemera


1. they love to shorten shit. “arvo” means afternoon. “convo” means conversation. “brekkie” means breakfast. therefore: “let’s have a late brekkie or a convo this arvo” is an actual email you can get from a journalist.

2. “bogans” are a cross between british chavs and american hillybilly jocks/rednecks. an extremely intoxicated bogan approached me in a bar last night and said “AT LEAZ I DUN PAINT MY EYEBROWS ON” to which i replied, somewhat mournfully, that my eyebrows were not painted on, they like this when i was born. then he got really shocked, quiet and ashamed. after he was ejected from the bar by the bouncer for being too drunk and bogan. i told his girlfreind to make sure to tell him – when he was sober – that i’d been lying; unlike lady gaga, i was not born this way, they are painted. i hope she sends the memo.
3. australians have been shyly coming out of the woodwork one by one to tell me that they, too, hate vegemite. i’ve given them A VOICE. I SERVE A PURPOSE.
4. do not drink VB. it is their equivalent of horse piss. in budweiser.
5. when ordering a coffee, order a “STRONG FLAT WHITE”. that is a café au lait with actual flavor to you and me, russ. a flat white is just an espresso with lots and lots of milk in it.
6. when referring to touring, “regional” does not mean “regional”. “regional” means “international”. this is confusing.
7. “prawns”. not “shrimp”, ever.
8. “glassing” is what bogans do to each other for sport. it involves breaking a beer bottle (preferably VB) and ripping open someone’s face with it. bless.
9. everybody Actually Loves triple j, the nationally syndicated alt-radio station. we do not have this in america – the very concept of one-nation-united-under-a-single-alt-channel died with MTV.
10. everybody pretends to hate the new zealanders, but actually don’t really care.
11. they really are obsessed with BBQ. everybody does it. all the time.
12. under no circumstances say “fanny pack”. really. they’ll just double over with laughter. it literally translates to “vagina bag”. their alternative, “bum bag”, sounds fucking ludicrous to me, but there you go.
i have a lot to catch you up on, and too many thoughts to fit into one place with the amount of time i have before sleeping in this incredible spot for the last time.
since posting my last real blog about what’s happening NOW, i’ve been in 5 different cities (at least) and living too much to reflect except through the magic of twitter.
i’m trying not to re-blog too much that’s on twitter unless it’s absolutely An Absolutely Unmissable Something -
looking at my blog statistics there’s more and more and more people coming over from twitter and while twitter’s great, it’s not long and deep and it’s not possible to talk at length about anything…
but GOD that makes it fantastic for tour when i’m living at the speed of light and that speed doesn’t make time for blogging and sitting and reflecting.
more and more people are joining twitter, it’s becoming quite an army, and i feel like entire events are now coming, living, being, and going…

…and huge fans of mine are missing out because they’re not following.

australia continues to amaze me with its beauty…but mostly the people are beautiful.
the people i’ve been traveling around with…mikelangelo and his increidible band(s), st. clare, tom, jen, tom’s girlfriend ange, the incredible people who have fed us, driven us around, hired me to play in their backyards, given us beers, helped us in so many ways….it’s like i’m in a bathtub drowning in watery fucking love, and australia won’t turn off the faucet. every fucking time i turn around, something incredible is happening.
here’s me with a busker playing a huge digeridoo outside the show in perth.
he was slamming.
photo by @flamingtorches
the show SLEW. mikelangelo’s back-up band, the tin star, acted as my band for
• missed me
• astronaut
• runs in the family
• leeds united
• the drover’s boy (here’s the Wiki if you’re curious what it is)
• coin-operated boy
• map of tasmania
• the ship song
and they ROCKED THE HOUSE. dancing was danced….
here’s me & mikel, blowing his sexy clarinet….
this one’s killlller:
via flickr
….and here’s me with @sock_girl after the gig in perth…she answered the twitter call to bring a glue-gun to the show…..
 …which was used to hot-glue a police badge, given to us under cover of night, to eric’s kindle cover and returned at the ninja gig the next day.
…..where people on twitter ACTUALLY took my call to assemble a “ukulele army” seriously.
TWENTY EIGHT PEOPLE SHOWED UP WITH UKULELES….and we all went onto a little island and played a song together.
it was epic, but very dark, so there aren’t a ton of good pictures…..
via flickr
the ninja gig took place on the steps of the AGWA (the Art Gallery Of Western Australia).
and i couldn’t believe it but about 200+ people showed up, ready to rock.
ninja gigs are good for the soul.
i never have a plan, never have a setlist, and use what’s there.
what was there was mikelangelo, a loaned guitar from someone in the crowd, a borrowed tambourine, some people loaning cider (thanks!), also borrowed guitar pick, kim boekbinder, a fiddle player from one of the bands in the spiegeltent, and reggie watts…like so:
via flickr
kim boekbinder played a new song she’d penned that day called “i like perth”, but since the crowd was split into two directions, she sang each verse twice. youtube that shit.
but the highlight of the night was probably THIS…reggie watts (who was in town for Big Day Out the next day)coming and doing a “guest translation” of my playing “should i stay or should i go” on the ukulele with mikel on guitar, kim on tambourine, and everybody probably feeling like they were on a really, really, weird drug:

one last thing, before i go: i just landed in NEW ZEALANDDDD, comrades! that means we’re fast approaching the shows in wellington, christchurch, and auckland. COME! tickets (and other info) can be found HERE.

more tomorrow.
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