Weekend Dregs: Soundwave, White Night, Arcade Fire, Kanye & more

A Monday-itis blog disguised as a wrap up of events from the weekend just gone.

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As your mum and dad now know, some genius set off a flare in the pit at Soundwave in Sydney yesterday, injuring several people, including one female punter that promoter AJ Maddah tweeted as being "disfigured". The ever-outspoken Maddah went on to promise a world of hurt on the punter should he discover them, but it's his emotional use of the word "disfigured" that the media gleefully ran with, laying the unfortunately chosen adjective over grainy phone photos of a packed in crowd seemingly ablaze. (Admittedly, looking at the lead image here, taken from instagram, it's hard not to think someone had their face removed.)

Reports on the poor girl's condition have varied between "horrible" and simply having a small burn and requiring stitches. Confusing the issue is the fact that St. John's ambulance officer Brent Murray told The Age that, despite three people being treated for minor burns at the scene, they were all released back to the event; no mention of "disfigurement" or otherwise. Late today, Maddah now says "Thankfully she isn't permanently disfigured & injuries are not as bad as i was first told. & yes, we have identified the jerk." Good news for all. Except the guy who did it and the television reports that will (probably won't) be scrubbing the emotional language from their "shocking" stories tonight.

UPDATE: The girl in question has posted photos and words about the incident on her tumblr. "I AM NOT DISFIGURED. IT WAS MY SHOULDER. NOT MY FOREARM. IT WAS NOT MELTED PLASTIC. IT WAS THE FLARE ITSELF." Not disfigured but a nasty scar for sure. Slightly graphic image warning.

Footage and photos of the perpetrator are floating around and here they are below, what a stupid hat, let's lynch him have been sent to the police.

It was a busy weekend for Maddah's Soundwave artists. The promoter began with a twitter beef between himself and absent Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker (turns out they were "both fed the wrong information"), the announcement of Slayer ditching their legendary drummer Dave Lombardo and Garbage being unable to perform in Sydney thanks to "floods on the Pacific Highway and [truck] driver stupidity." None of this stopped the Brisbane event being a raging success according to TheVine's Andrew McMillen. (Nor the Sydney one, if initial reports are anything to go by.) Stay tuned for our interview with Maddah -- if he finds a moment to catch his breath.

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Despite having a new album on the way, Arcade Fire probably aren't touring Australia any time soon, nor anywhere else. Front-couple Win Butler and Regine Chassagne are having a baby, according to reliable fan site: ArcadeFireTube. ("Basically confirmed," they say.) They played a mini-set in Montreal over the weekend, which is where these photos of the (allegedly) pregnant Chassagne was taken. While having a baby is hardly a precursor to musical wilderness, consider this a public service announcement to the guy sweatily copy and pasting names into a fake Splendour_in_the_Grass_poster_lol.psd right now.

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Kanye West dropped a sweet rant in London on Friday, during which he dissed Justin Timberlake, the Grammys and corporate sponsorships. Read the whole thing at Consequence of Sound but here's a steamy excerpt:

So, you gonna help me put on a better show, corporations? Can you please support me? Please? Me, Kanye West. I swear I’m a nice leader now. I swear I’ll put the pink polo back on. I swear to you. Please. Just for three million dollars. I need it so bad. I need a pool in my backyard! So I’ll tell all my fans your shit is cool. And if they believe in me, then they’ll also believe in you. ‘Did we get the check yet? I gotta call the business manager. Did the corporations send the check? What is my public rating? Are people liking me again? Enough to get some money from the corporations? They forgot about the whole Beyonce thing, right? Cool. Is it OK now? Remind me why we in this shit? Remind me why we in this shit.

 

Kanye's ID being so close to the surface is what makes him such a fascinating (and at times mercurial) artist, but the line of thinking is pretty hilarious coming from a guy who landed at 22nd on the Forbes list of richest musicians last year. Not least for racking up part of his $35 million haul thanks to the bling-bragging Watch the Throne LP and "designing shoes for Nike and a line of women's clothing." I still love him but the idea of this guy ranting about false modesty suggests we've got some seriously unfun music to look forward to. (Or really fun. I can't quite decide.)

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All Tomorrow's Parties promoter Bary Hogan told Billboard that the ATP festival might return to Australia. Shouldn't be a shock to attendees who read the program handed out at the event last week, which stated (paraphrasing here) "Please don't wreck the place so we can come back next year!" If you haven't yet read Ian Rogers definitive deconstruction of festival culture, tropes, business practices and herd mentality disguised as his ATP review, I suggest you fetch your monocle and highlighter and click here.

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Baauer's 'Harlem Shake' is the number one song in the country right now (stay tuned for Tim "tireless" Byron's column on the thing) and—thanks to Billboard now recognising YouTube streams on their official chart—also No. 1 in the US. (Does this now mean that internet memes will top the charts on a regular basis? I think so.) It arrives atop the singles chart at the same time as Nick Cave's Push The Sky Away album debuts at No. 1in Australia (his first time in three decades).

I'm guessing Cave would have something eloquent to say about the auspicious meeting of each. But until someone makes a mash-up of Nick Cave doing the Harlem Shake, here's a video of 49 of them at once.

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The inaugural White Night festival happened in Melbourne on the weekend and was a raging success. I know because I trundled into the CBD expecting to see a couple of bands along with a few thousand people at best, and instead floated through a city I never knew existed. Honestly, bands were kind of forgotten once the city seemed to be unfolding anew around all 300,000 of us, mouths collectively agape. There's something wonderfully disorientating about everyday places being rendered mysterious: choirs in library domes at 1am; an enormous contraption quietly belching foamy clouds (see below); a laneway that appears to dissolve into a video catwalk; concepts of scale and perspective and place being challenged around ever corner. No idea seemed to small or large. And maybe, at the heart of it, that was a gift a lot of unassuming bystanders were ready for.

I also couldn't stop thinking what a perfect event for social media it was, especially Instagram. You couldn't move without having to brush aside a forest of arms waving camera phones about. With such a striking visual medium to play with, it's no wonder people were engaged, in their way. (The thing might be for one night only, but a year's worth of free promo was loaded onto phones and online in just a few hours.) It's also just immensely refreshing for the city to have to accept that perhaps late night entertainment isn't solely about drug-fuelled glassings and LOUD MUSIC THAT MUST BE STOPPED SO PEOPLE CAN SLEEP IN THE HOME THEY JUST MOVED INTO ETC. Treat the nightcrawlers with some respect and it comes back tenfold. Who knew.

This video doesn't do it justice but here it is all the same:

Timelapse the World - White Night Melbourne, Australia from Eddie Peter Hobson on Vimeo.

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