meet DOS4GW

black is black, straight back

So, Melbourne.

It’s about twenty four hours since I got back, and I’m only kinda just starting to feel like a human again. It’s been a long road, filled with sleep and comfort food.

After breaking my alcohol drought at Ess Bar on Wednesday night, I went home, did some last minute checks with my luggage to make sure I had everything, and then called a cab to go out to the airport. One arrived on time, and I got out to the airport and onto the plane without incident. Slept through most of the flight over, which was awesome. Arrived in Melbourne at about 7am.

I caught the Skybus into the city, and then a cab to Krispin’s place in Brunswick. I could have caught a tram out, but didn’t know exactly where his place was, so cabbed it just to be sure I made it. I bashed on his door to wake him up. We had a cup of tea and some toast. There was a trip to the shops, and then out to a pub to meet Henry. The pub we were to meet up was closed, so Krispin and I waited out the front until Henry arrived by tram. We had planned to meet GDP at the same pub and had let him know where it was via an ancient form of communication that didn’t involve a mobile phone. There was a debacle with a venue change, but in the end H, K and I ended up at The Retreat on Sydney Road, which was a cool bar that had fake grass out the back. It was very lush and garden-like. Many a beer was had by all.

I eventually managed to contact GDP, who was having trouble with a show booking and hadn’t made it out to the pub yet. We agreed to go and meet him where he was staying instead. A 45 minute cab drive later (thank goodness they are cheaper in Melb than in Perth), we got to the place which was out on stop fucking 50 of a tram line from the city – a fair ways out, considering I had been expecting something a lot closer. Not to worry, we got there in the end, passing the hilariously named Dickmann St on the way. We hung out with DNA, GDP and the boys for a while, before getting on a tram to go down for soundcheck at Bar Open for Render, which ended up being unnecessary. That meant we could start drinking again.

By this stage we’d been drinking all afternoon, so we were pretty jolly. I think there was a kebab at some stage. The gig was awesome; I met and chat and drank with GDP, DNA, Baddums, Aoi, Faux Pas, Dave Slutzkin from RRR, Maude from PBS, and a bunch of other friendly (and mostly drunk) people. I played at about 11.45, and I think the set went rather well. Stage sound was awesome and Able said it sounded pretty brutal out the front.

One thing that made the gig noticeably different from a gig in Perth was the number of smokers around. I’m not a smoker, and although I give smokers shit sometimes, I don’t really have a problem with it. I like that there’s no more smoking in enclosed bars because when it was allowed, I used to come home from every single gig with absolutely everything reeking of stale smoke. My trombone used to stink. By my reckoning, at least half of the punters at the gig were smokers. Anyway.

So yeah the gig was sweet. Thanks heaps to Baddums and Aoi for inviting me over. Ripper shit. If you’re in Melbourne, make sure you check out the next Render.

I awoke the next morning with somewhat of a hangover. I looked around, not remembering how I had gotten home. I could see my wallet and phone on the coffee table, which was a relief. Then I looked around for my laptop. Then I looked around some more for my laptop. Then I messaged a few people to see if they had taken my laptop at the end of the night. Then I rang the venue to see if my laptop was still upstairs. None of these endeavors ended positively. I was pretty bummed about that, but tried to take the long view; I bought a cheap gigging laptop on purpose, so that if something like this happened, I wouldn’t be out too much cash. Still, I was pretty attached to that laptop – I did my first ever laptop gig with it (supporting Foreign Beggars at the Manor in Leederville, for trivia heads), and it’d been with me at gigs and on tour for almost two years now. Anyway, so that put a bit of a downer on the night.

K and I did a bit of shopping out on Sydney Road, which was pretty cool. Many crappy stores line the street, but there are some sweet little nooks and crannies in amongst it all. We watched an awful film called The Fist Fighter on K’s little projector thing, as a way of holding the hangover back, but I don’t think it worked very well – mostly because the film was so god damn loose.

Later on, I caught up with Able over at Tetris, a cool studio space thing where he is staying at the moment. We went back to The Retreat and had another few jugs and shot the shit. It was interesting to talk to him after he’s been over east for a few months now. Sounds like he is meeting heaps of new and interesting people, and getting along pretty well. He told me about doing a collab with this guy Zulu, which I am pretty keen to hear.

Then .. what then? Oh yeah, Krispin and I met up with Henry and Pete, and went over to Pete’s place for dinner and beers – both of which were excellent. Pete cooked up some lamb and snags on his schmick barbie, and I met some his mates from Melbourne who were all pretty cool. We were pretty deliriously drunk by the time the evening was really rolling, thanks to several cartons of Coopers Pale. The night wore on and everyone was looking pretty buggered so K and I left.. at about midnight I think.

We walked down the street to catch a cab from the main road, and considered our options. We were both still pretty keen so headed to a bar to tie one on. The first open bar we came to was a rockabilly place with a cheap pool table. It reminded me a lot of the Hyde Park actually. Anyway, we walked in, and it turned out a bunch of people Krispin knows from work or something were there sinking piss. Winner! So we drank there for a while, and then again back at one of their houses when the bar closed.

I awoke the next morning with somewhat of a hangover. We caught a cab back to Krispin’s place. He had to work, so I took the opportunity to relax a bit and explore the shops on Sydney Road again. I had planned to meet up with Henry in the city in the afternoon to do some shopping, so I killed some time exploring, and then went into the city and eventually caught up with Henry again. We had a look around a few shops, then caught a tram out to the RRR studios in Brunswick, where I prerecorded a chat with Dave Slutzkin for the To and Fro show, that went out on Sunday night. The podcast RSS hasn’t been updated with yesterday’s show just yet, but I’ll link it when it does. I am kinda keen to listen back to what I said, because I don’t really remember.. but I remember laughing a lot and it being fun.

Then it was back to the city to meet up with my mate Aaron, who has known me since before I was born. We hung out at a place called Cookie, which was pretty cool, but weirdly for bars in Melbourne, fucking expensive. Beers were consumed. Hadn’t seen Aaron for like a minute so it was great to catch up.

While we were there, I got a phone call from a random number I didn’t recognise. It was a lady called Wendy, who had found my laptop bag at a cab rank in Fitzroy! Everything was still in it. My guess is that I passed out at the cab rank or something, then when a cab came past, I had to hustle it into the thing, leaving my bag behind in the process. Wendy was walking her dog at 6am the next morning, and had tracked me down by looking at old boarding passes I had left in the back of the bag. Amazing.

We had to hustle to meet some of Henry’s mates for dinner, which was over at a place called The Lambs Go Barrrr (lol). We drank there for ages, they had like a million beers behind the bar, and we tried to go for different beers every time. We moved on into the city at some stage, and went looking for the bar where Dom was playing, but after wandering around for ages we couldn’t find it. K and I chilled in a random pub while H and P went looking around for the place – which, as it turned out, was just around the corner. We moved on, and Dom played about half an hour after we got there (which was about 1am, I think). He was amazing. A tech dnb exposition like no other.

After dancing around like an idiot for too long, we eventually bailed and went our separate ways. I cabbed it back to K’s place and slept for a million years.

I awoke the next morning with somewhat of a hangover. My flight was leaving in four hours, so that meant I had time to grab some food, check some more shops in the city and pick up my laptop from Wendy The Great before Skybussing to the airport for the flight back. Then it was straight from the airport in Perth to the pub – but that’s another story.

So that’s a breakdown of what went down on the weekend. I wish I had more time chilling with Baddums, DNA, Aoi, GDP and those guys, but they had gigs in Brisbane on the Friday and Saturday nights so they weren’t in the area. I wish I had gone to the Aquarium and the NGV, but it wasn’t to be. I enjoyed having a massively social weekend, rather than doing my usual solo city exploration, which is generally what I end up doing if I’m in a new city. The gig was awesome, and chatting to Dave on RRR was sweet too. Catching up with Krispin, Henry, Pete, Aaron and all the new mates really made it a memorable weekend.

I’m planning on being back in Melbourne quite a bit in the next year, so if you live in Melbourne and I didn’t have time to catch you on this trip, don’t stress, I’ll be back to do more gigs and talk more shit to whoever will listen. Thanks especially go out to the man like Krispin; crashing his place was awesome and I really appreciated getting to know some of the weirder, hidden spots in Melbourne.

Back to work tomorrow!

Filed under: gigs, legends, life, tours

disgrace the family name

So I was casually perusing the internet yesterday .. ok actually I was checking to see if this blog had overtaken my myspace page yet in Google’s search results for “dos4gw” (it hasn’t) and I spotted an unfamiliar search result – a review of a sampler that the good man Baddums had sent out before I played the Melbourne leg of the tour with Tomas Ford. A very favourable review in Cyclic Defrost, as it turns out. This pleased me greatly. I got in touch with the man who wrote it, and he informed me that he put 440 in a mix that he did for Monday Jazz called I’m Leaving Home.

This was an even bigger surprise. I’m not really much for self promotion, much to the annoyance of a lot of the people that I work with in my musical endeavours – so it was a real bolt out of the blue to hear a tune of mine in a mix from someone that I’d never met before, or even contacted myself. Maybe this is just noobish ‘oooh lookee’ feelings from the discovery. Meh, who cares?! woohoo! hahah. The mix is well worth a listen too; it’s a buzz to see my name on a tracklisting that also includes The Gaslamp Killer and Harmonic 313.

Anyway, many thanks to the man like neut for the hookup.  Large ones. Believe. 360.

Speaking of .. well, things totally unrelated to that, doctoredjnr has a new blog, so go and check that out. I highly recommend putting that one in the reader list, even if you don’t know him – he is an insightful and hilarious bastard.

In other news, Mathas is supporting The Motherfuckin’ RZA tonight, and I got a message from him this afternoon asking if he could use one of my new beats for a track at the gig. I couldn’t message him back fast enough. So yeah, if you’re going to RZA, listen out.

Two weeks til the Melbourne trip. I’m not counting the days yet, but I think I will start counting tomorrow.

Filed under: legends, shit I like, tours

nothing really bothers her

I’m glad to see that everyone agrees with me about that Jupiter One record. As you were, people.

Havoc: what the fuck man? If you make all of the best beats in the universe, what in seven kinds of fuck are the rest of us supposed to do with our time? It’s fucking.. selfish. God damn it. I am on a mega Mobb Deep kick at the moment. I had heard Infamous years ago but it didn’t really click and I hadn’t picked up on any of their other shit since – and what a mistake that was. Listening back to Infamous now, I’m kinda puzzled. Why the fuck didn’t I like this record when I was 17? It’s fucking diamond tipped. Dip that fucker in gold.

Blood Money would have been better if Havoc had made all the beats though. MOSTLY BECAUSE HE IS A GOD.

Oh yeah – Krispin put me onto these guys – Real Live, from the mid nineties. If you hunt around, you can find the album they did on rapidshit or megalame. How fucking unreal is that beat?

So, what do sober people do on boring Monday nights? Apart from idling on facebook, of course. I’ve got that covered.

Filed under: legends, shit I like

slippery pessimist

Well, it’s Australia Day eve, and I’ve found out that taking today off might have been a more productive way to spend the day. Also, apparently there is a bust sewage pipe somewhere. awesome.

The trip to Melbourne is coming together pretty well; I’m crashing at a mate’s place, eliminating the pain of staying in a backpackers or crappy hotel. I don’t really enjoy staying in hotels; I think it’s because hotel staff generally treat me like I don’t belong in their precious establishment. Also, I don’t really have enough room on my credit card to throw more than one or two televisions out of windows at the moment, which takes a lot of the fun out of it. Also, my boy from Canberra is coming down for the whole time too! So so amped for that, I barely get to catch up with him in the personal at all.

I don’t really have a lot of commitments when I’m over there this time, which will be a welcome change; the last few times I’ve been rushing from point to point with little or no time to relax. I’m gonna try to hit a few things up while I’m there, including:

  • The Clemenger Contemporary Art Award exhibition at the NGV – have always enjoyed the NGV, the exhibition space is spacious without feeling too .. ostentatious. Also, the staff are really nice, which is always a plus at such things. Last time I was there, there was a landscape exhibition on, and I ended up talking to one of the their floorwalkers about Turner for about an hour. Cue pretentious music.
  • The superbikes will be on at Phillip Island, if I can motivate for it
  • The fuckin Melbourne Aquarium woooo!

…and, well.. some more city exploration. I’ve not seen much of Melbourne, aside from the CBD, so I’m keen to get out and explore a bit more, and find some more little bars and shit. I also need some new clothes.

Of course, the other course for the weekend could be finding a sweet bar, and nailing it there with Henry and Krispin until my flight back on Sunday. I’m ok with it either way, to be honest. If you’ve got any tips for awesome places to check out in Melbourne, hit me in the comments .. I’ve got pretty broad taste so anything goes.

Happy Australia Day people, try not to get too jaded or enraged by the Southern Cross tatts, carflags and yobbos on the news – I’m just looking forward to relaxing with a tinny in the sun with some mates. On a Tuesday morning. heh.

Filed under: legends, life, tours

the choice is yours, don’t be late

So, alcohol.

Up until about a year ago, I had never considered alcohol to be a factor in the way I lived my life. How wrong I was. I have hung out with a lot of people over the years who like to drink. Not in the ‘oh everyone likes a bit of a drink’ kind of way – I seem to gravitate towards people who like to driiiiiiink.

Now, I hear that it’s socially acceptable to go through this kind of phase, during school or uni, or when you get your first house away from the olds, or when you first start earning enough money to go out to nice bars, but it seems like I’ve been going through each and every one of these phases, one after the other, for the last ten odd years. It also seems that I’ve been able to find people in similar situations along the way, who will drink with me. I’ve not done a lot of drinking by myself; I mean, I will have a couple of beers with dinner, or a couple of scotches after work, or something, but no prolonged binges by myself. On the other hand, I’ve done an awful lot of drinking that involved hanging out with mates, at home, at their homes, at the pub, out at gigs, whatever.

I think being so comfortable with alcohol has been both beneficial and destructive. Beneficial in that I’ve made a lot of mates through socialising at pubs and parties and so on, which is undoubtedly easier two pints in. This isn’t to say that it’s absolutely necessary; but it certainly helps.

The destructive side of it is much more of a worry. I’ve done some very fucking stupid things when drunk. I’m not going to list them all, because we’d be here all fucking day and I’m not interested in dwelling on them, but a few of the stellar things I’ve managed whilst drunk include:

  • destroying at least two relationships (if not more, if not every fucking one) with members of the fairer sex for seemingly no reason
  • physically assaulting people (my mates, but still)
  • destroying public and private property (nothing major, but still)
  • insulted and abused security staff at venues (not a lot, but still)
  • been sick in every way possible (although I am yet to manage “upside down on the floor of a pub toilet”)
  • faced some very important days with hangovers so epic I could barely see, walk or talk
  • nearly burning down a best mate’s house after passing out in front of a burning hotplate

…amongst many other stupid, stupid things – not to mention the damage to my brain, liver, skin, weight, etc.

Wow. I’ve just surprised myself with that list. You’re looking at a real upstanding fucking individual here.

Every now and then someone would pull me up on it, tell me they’ve been worried, and my answer is generally the same. “I know, I’m trying to drink less.” Which is now true. In the last year I have become very acutely aware of the damage that I can cause by drinking too much, and have made an effort to control myself a bit better. It’s been hit and miss, but I’m coming to the realisation that there are very specific things that I can do to stop myself drinking too much on any one night, which is a plus.

The problem has been that drinking to escape from life, reality, stress and so on is just too easy. I have a couple of drinks and my problems just seem to float away – and I’ve had some pearlers of problems in the last twelve months. Talking about them is too hard, drinking is very very easy. If this sounds cliche, well, I guess that’s because a lot of people feel the same way. Is it a sign of weakness? Yeah, I guess it is. Dealing with life’s problems helps to build your character and help to define who you are as a person, right? Right on.

It’s not that I’m not interested in self-development. Quite the opposite, it’s very interesting indeed. I think things just get on top of me sometimes.

Hmm, I’ve just read this back and it’s gone in somewhat of a different direction than what I intended. anyway. carrying on. This next bit is partly speculation, so if you’re in a position to correct me, please do…

It was alcohol, I think, that resulted in Tomas Ford asking me to come on tour with him in September of 2009. Well, maybe not alcohol per se, moreso a gig that I played at the Rocket Room at which I was completely blind at. I stumbled through a set, yelling at people through the provided microphone, calling the patrons “cunts”, dancing around like a fucking nutter and generally being an idiot, such as I am after a day of hard drinking (the gig was after midnight, and I’d been drinking all day at a corporate event).

Now, if you know the T-Ford, you might see how this could influence his decision to send me an email the next day about coming along for a few shows. Maybe he could get this loon every night, and maybe it wouldn’t take 20+ beers and on-stage tequila shots to get him going. Makes sense.

The tour that followed was absolutely hilarious. There were ups and downs, as there always are; the gigs were very up and down (up: Melbourne, Hobart, Canberra; down: Newcastle, Adelaide), but I got to know Mr Ford a lot better than I did already, and found him to be a fucking legend. I also got to do a bit of drinking with a couple of my best mates, who are living in Canberra and Melbourne.

One major down was missing a flight because I had gone out and drunk myself stupid the night before. I don’t think I’ve ever had a worse morning. Luckily, the day wasn’t a total loss, because I got the chance to really catch up with my mate in Melbourne, which was awesome. However, the pain that it caused pretty much everyone else involved (including some otherwise uninvolved bystanders, to whom I offer my sincere and utmost apologies) make it a pretty rough memory, even now.

A major up was the Hobart gig. I met some really fucking cool people, made a couple of mates and generally had a good time. I had a few beers, nothing crazy, because I had to drive the hirecar back to where we were staying. My sense of responsibility cut through my ‘cut loose’ persona that is almost always hell-bent on getting drunk. So maybe that’s the key. I should just buy a car and drive everyone everywhere all the time.

So yeah, it was a bloody fun tour, and I am so grateful to Tomas Ford for the opportunity. Not just for the exposure and gigs, but for helping me realise that alcohol isn’t really an effective tool to combat life’s troubles. I still drink, sometimes even with him, although it’s been a month or so since I saw him last.

At least now I know a little bit more about myself and how to stop being so god damn stupid all the time. Baby steps.

Filed under: legends, life, tours

love me for what i am not

So, things.

Mathas had asked me to help him put out a cd. Who was I to argue? He’s arguably the best MC in Australia right now. Would I like to help? Jesus, let me help. Now.

The recording of ten pound hairless sasquatch took.. a year? or so. I’m not 100% sure, because it was quite haphazard, and I was drunk a lot of the time. Tom would call at 8pm, asking if he could come over in.. half an hour. Generally I’d say yes, and whenever I was otherwise occupied I felt bad turning him away. I knew that he didn’t have heaps of time to spend on recording and mixing, what with working so much at Aldas and managing The Moon Cafe, among other pursuits.

Recording Mathas was a challenge. I loved every single verse he put down on his album, but it was also an opportunity to think about how I could direct vocalists to give better performances. I’d struggled with this in the past; “just.. do it again” wasn’t really a winner when it came to direction for artists, especially one as single minded and talented as Mathas is.

I actually took a lot from Bleach in this period of time. A rock album that stood so heavily on song structure could be recorded like shit, and sound pretty much like shit, and still fly on the stereo – however hiphop is never going to be like that. 36 Chambers might sound like shit, but the beats and the lyrics make it flow together. I still think you could come out with that album today and it’d drop just like it did back in the day.

That might sound like a contradictory statement, but it’s the production that makes the sound of36 Chambers; whereas with Bleach it’s the songs.

My point is that it’s rarely production finesse that makes a hiphop album. It’s the beats, the rhymes and the cohesion between the songwriting and the formers that really make a hiphop album. For reference, see.. mm, Food, do you want more?!?!?, The Coming and Da Antidote.

This didn’t stop us from taking, four, five, or six different nights of re-runs at vocal takes on 10lb. This was more a product of recording the disc over such a long period though. I think it’s a better album for it – the later takes are all included on the master. Also, we got through a ridiculous amount of scotch during the recording. I was dieting, and scotch was the only acceptable alcohol. My god, so much scotch.

Anyway. We eventually got the album to a masterable state, and Mathas put on a fucking blinder of a launch upstairs at the Scotto. I didn’t do a record in 2009, but I kind of consider 10lb to be the 2009 record. I didn’t contribute heaps in terms of songwriting or production, but it was such a mammoth effort that I was totally drained when it came to working on my own material. This isn’t to throw stones at Mathas, of course. To be totally honest, by the end of it I was more honoured to have worked on that album than I was to be asked initially. I hope I get to work with the guy again.

Anyway, by the time the Mathas album came out to critical acclaim, I was pretty much gagging to start working on my next disc. It wasn’t to come immediately though; Tomas Ford had something to say about that.


Filed under: legends, life, shit I like

now I’m bored and old

It’s my birthday tomorrow, woo! I’ll be the wrong side of 25 though.

I just picked up an old Hell Razah album, “The Renaissance Child“. It’s pretty fucking solid, I recommend you get your hands on a copy if you like the hip and hop. That track with R.A. the Rugged Man – Renaissance – blows me away every time. Best verse of the decade, hands down. There’s some other cracker tracks on the album too though:

Good shit.

For those waiting for the next chapter in the story about my musical evolution, I’ll see how busy I am this afternoon, and if I get through my bug list then I’ll give it a crack – otherwise it might have to wait. Ripping and uploading albums to bandcamp is a pretty long and boring process (the last one took me two hours, on and off), so I’ll see how I go.

Also, important news:

Lunch at Ess Bar anyone?

Filed under: conrad, legends, shit I like

I promise not to sell your perfumed secrets


I’ve been struggling with updating my older blog recently, mostly I think because of twitter, and because it didn’t really have a purpose. It was there because I felt like as a nerd, I should have some kind of blog, where the internet can see my inner workings and musings. Stupid really. Anyway, it lay neglected as I enjoyed life and microblogging my every fucking thought.

2,000 tweets later, and now that twitter is not the main controlling mental force in my life, I’ve got stuff to say again. However, this time it’s stuff with purpose.

After a pretty full on year of gigging randomly, doing a tour with Tomas Ford (who is a Legend, by the way) and writing songs purely via the use of gig deadlines and panic, I’ve decided that it’s time to stop gigging for a bit, and organise my compositions from the last year into a coherent record. It’ll be my third full length record, and I’m already much more excited about it than I have been about records in the past. It’s going to be fucking good, damn it. Thus, this is going to be a chronicle of how the album takes shape, from start to finish. I’ll probably randomly whinge about things too, but I’ll try to keep it on topic.

I already have myspace and facebook and twitter pages, but do they let you discover the real me? Fuck knows really. I’ve always enjoyed writing though, so here’s an outlet with purpose and a musician with intent. Also I occasionally get frustrated at work and have to take five minutes out to vent something. I’m a more productive employee because of that. Honest.

Anyway, I hope you find my posts amusing, interesting, and opinionated. I am a bit of a bastard, after all. Also, I love Nirvana.


Filed under: album, legends, life

wait, what?

I'm putting together a new album. I'm also writing about it! hooray. shit is going to be cash.

archives, innit

system 100