May 3rd, 2002


grumpy old men with guitars

Okay, first I'm going to have to cop to having turned into one of those sad bastards who only goes to see the bands they used to see when they were young. Not that I'm not into the new music, and I listen to yoof radio daily (triplej), but, statistically, there's been a lot of Cure, Models, Echo & The Bunnymen and New Order going on. And now, last night, The Church.

My dearest pals Jill & Kay had seen them play around San Francisco and had sent me glowing reports, Jill had even managed to get back stage and she'd caught me up on all the gossip, making me nostalgic for my past days as a Church devotee, and the couple of times I'd gotten back stage, way back when.

So, fired up by nostalgia and excellent recommendations I trooped off to the Enmore Theatre in Newtown - a glorious old ART DECO theatre, seriously art deco, old place that still survives, I don't know how. God, I love art deco, so that was happy. Bus was late so I didn't have time to front the bar, plus my new big fuzzy winter coat was proving unmanageable in a wrestling with an escaped bear kinda way. I was going to see the Church stone cold sober, which I'd not done since the underage gigs I used to go to twenty years ago (ack). This was my fault and I freely admit it. Mistake number one. This meant I was more pre-occupied with how cramped and stern the seats were than I really should have been. Especially with people crawling over me every five minutes to go to the bar and back.

So, okay, wedged into an unforgiving seat with rampant winter coat in a theatre that looks like the inside of a Jaffa mothership, sitting beside a guy who is overwhelming me with his not interested signals. Sigh. Not that he was much chop himself but a simple glance away is usually sufficient, the whole phonebook of non verbals was overkill, I should think. Mistake number two: no friends willing to go to see The Church with me on this side of the Pacific.

With barely a dozen seats filled (everyone else is still scrummed up against the bar) the support act came on. I think they were called The Art of Killing and I quite liked them. Very much looking like an earnest uni band they provided a competent non threatening sweet musical background and I found myself drifting off and trying to work out the logistics of someone attempting to have sex atop the bar in Ezra's saloon. This was so much fun I've resolved to try and track down their CD, though now whenever anyone hears The Art of Killing coming out of my room they'll know I'm playing nude twister with my characters in my head again. And it's like that. I dunno how other people write, but I find choreographing sex scenes much more bother than fight scenes. Right hand on green, chaps.

So that was fun. I scan the crowd and realise the whole thing has this weird school reunion vibe, as I'm looking at my generation come out to play. We're all wearing the same clothes, pretty much the same stuff we were wearing ten years ago, bless. I'd remarked earlier that I wouldn't be the only one there who'd be looking slightly past their useby date. Bro laughed a little too loudly at this and so he's now off the Xmas list.J

Then the house lights dim and most everyone rushes back to their seats, crawling over me again, spilling drinks, and the seats are those flap up kind which are never kind to me if I'm wearing a skirt and I always am. Estimated audience for my brand new cottontails this time: oooh, about three dozen, I suppose, given the low lights and if they happened to be looking my way.

The Church come out, plonk themselves down on stools and the stage lights come up. Arrrgh, no, say it isn't so. Age has wearied them even further. Cocaine much be hard on the body but it's kinder to the face than heroin and Steve's notorious smack habit has now really started to take a toll on his once very pretty features. Worse, he's gotten fat. Hanging over the bass guitar fat. When I was young, and he used to keep turning his back on the audience, in those tight black jeans, it was always a religious experience. Now it was just horror. Please, make him stop. Fortunately Marty & Peter obviously have sold Steve's soul on their behalf, because they looked the very same as the last time I'd seen them. Age has been much kinder. They also never got a spotlight, which helped with the illusion.

Okay, stop being shallow, it's all about the music, right? Wrong. Maybe US audiences are more forgiving, or not as well versed with the back catalogue, but everyone was basically there to hear the greatest hits, you know, The Church as Church Tribute band. Instead we were treated to ten minute long album tracks from later albums I've not even bothered to own like some hideous Pink Floyd set - so said the two guys behind me who carried on through the whole show like those campy old muppets who used to sit up in the audience and grouse about everything. Some people might have found their loud and constant bitching annoying but I found it amusing, and if Vera had come with me, I knew we'd have been doing the same.

I'm drifting off again playing nude twister with Ezra and Buck when Under the Milky Way snaps me out of my reverie. This was the signature song for the Daniel story I wrote around The Light and should be listened to before reading the fic, as I refer to it in refrain a few times. So that was nice. Happy Ex-Daniel thoughts. Then it's another trough of mumbling ambience and muddy sound before they wake the crowd up again with Electric Lash. I'm getting restive now, being so old to still consider this the new stuff. Less new albumn tracks and more old favourites, please? Just one or two? Just for old time's sake? No.

Suddenly they break into Metropolis and I'm awash with happy Lex thoughts. I'm really enjoying myself and - it's the last frigging song of the set! Two more encores of more obscure stuff that's nice enough but not grabbing me by my fillaments and they walk off, leaving the lights on. Everyone mills around, hoping they'll come back on that one last time and play just one classic, but no. Houselights up, go home time.

The taxi ride home cost more than the concert tocket, but that's okay, because, weirdly, it was more fun. Picking me up in front of The Church gig, the taxi driver rightly assumed I was into that old timey music and promptly whipped up the volume on his AC/DC cd. So there we are, tearing along Victoria Road in the dead of night, windows down, totally rocking out to Acker Dacker (as we call them out here when being silly). Think Wayne's World. Better yet, the man knew about The Osbournes, even though it's never screened out here. Too cool. so I tipped him handsomely and bid my crazy metal freak adieu.

And that was my night. And today, er...feeling rather underslept. And peoples was in at 6.30 am so no playing with Ezra fic for Jen Jens. L. And after all that nude twister last night, too. So, it's onto doing something dreadfully fiddly with some pdf file. So not in the mood...

So now Lex and Clark are playing slightly nude twister in the barn and Clark's Dad walks in on them and I wonder what the age of consent is in Kansas anyway and JK ain't happy at all with Lex and his creepy, sleazy city ways tainting the purity of their golden smalltown boy and...oh yes, that pdf I was meant to be fixing. Gotcha. Hold that thought, boys.



Sexy Lexy

More on Marti Noxon using Buffy as an open couch session: It's almost as bad as using fic to push your own personal wheelbarrow. Okay in totally original fic, but not so much appropriate in fic set within a pre-fab universe. You know, tonight on a very special Buffy...

And then there's the fan fic where you end up with an uncomfortable clear view of the author's life and/or inner life instead of a new or extended slant on an established character, which is what I like to look for. I like my fic reading to enhance and twist my viewing of safe tv product, not make it even more like a sugary Hallmark special. I like writers to show me things within a character I've never noticed before, character quirks that are there, just never fully realised within the format of USTV.

I know I like to have fun using some of the worst of my ex's behaviour to colour my characters when they're being unsympathetic, and I had fun making Ezra's mother into an uber-shrew - she's that in the show anyway, but at least I know I'm doing it. There's obviously a fine line between catharthis and Oprah (ie public therapy sessions), obviously J.

So now I'm cautious about following on my quick Lex fic idea. It's easy to do the old take your hands off my boy story, but fun, too. It's just, it kinda reminds me of when I had a rich friend once. Thought the world of her then she just up and binned me one day, I still have no idea why. Later on I found she'd said and done some pretty uncool things behind my back. I still remember that sense of betrayal, even though I no longer feel it, not really. Not so as you'd notice. Of course, the five years of ostracism that followed, that didn't help. Like I said before, the worst thing you can do to a social creature is exclude it. Nice to know they've now done studies to show the real stress this causes, and I wasn't just being precious. Time this with my Dad's death and it was just doubly cruel.

Oh yeah, my Buffy year. Throw in a cheating boyfriend and it was just peachy. I just try to hide my issues deeper within my writing. I use them to make the scenes real, but try not to let my issues push the fic where it shouldn't go. Not that I probably manage this, but at least I try and I'm aware of when I'm walking close to the bone.

But yeah, Marti needs to get over her Spike issues and stop turning Buffy into such a little younger Bennett sister styled twit.

Cause I'd never cast anyone I knew in my fic. Not as a major character, anyways. I usually only steal snappy lines or incidents and warp them to my own evil purposes. I'd just use my memory of betrayal to describe how Clark must feel when Lex inevitably shafts, um, using Oz slang here...

    Macquarie Dictionary:

    shaft: noun 4. to betray (someone) for one's own gain; to opportunistically take (someone else's) place, position, kudos, benefits, etc.: got shafted by his workmate.

Now I'm back to happy flirty sexy Lex thoughts. J 'Why, Mr Luthor, are you trying to seduce me?', as pouty, dewey eyed and completely wet behind the ears young Clark might say. Oh god, this ficlet is writing itself before I can stop it. Worse, going home on the same freaking bus plotting fic with the face of the same freaking actor as I did over twenty years ago. That's it. I'm doomed to relive 1981 over and over until I get it right, obviously. I'll have half a dozen pages plotted out in my head before I get home tonight. It's all Steve Kilbey's fault. K

That pdf? Done.