Sorta rotten and insane

I just spent what was probably the worst one-and-a-half hours of this month re-doing my homework, because I lost it. No, not like that. More like: our university needs a system that autosaves or has some kind of way of making sure stuff doesn’t get lost like that – and should generally just be crash-free. Of course, technology can be pretty horrible, and there’s no way of really knowing when it’ll go down on us or not.

A couple of days ago, was hacked. As a staffer at this network, I was completely shocked. There were rumours that it was someone involved in the network, rather than your ordinary hacking… but at this point, I’m unsure of the details. The message board is completely down and the whole website is down, and developers are currently working on it.

The title of this blog post hails from the classic 90s rock song Lump by The Presidents of the United States of America. Long band name indeed. Often the band’s name is just shortened to Pot USA, or more commonly, PUSA or The Presidents. They also sang hits such as Peaches and Boll Weevil, among others. I actually had the opportunity to see them play live on Friday night at the UNSW Roundhouse. I went there only a few days ago to see Last Dinosaurs, and there I found myself again. In all honesty, I’d truly describe my experience seeing The Presidents as “sorta rotten and insane”, reason being that the crowd was seriously rotten and insane.

Lump lingered last in line for brains
And the ones she got were sorta rotten and insane
Small thing’s so sad that birds could land
Is Lump fast asleep or rockin’ out with the band

Someone likened The Presidents to The Wiggles, or rather, “The Wiggles for adults”. It’s probably the most insanely inaccurate description of The Presidents that I’ve heard to date. In fact, “sorta rotten and insane” is probably something that describes them a thousand times better. Them and their fans (me included).

To sum it up: The show was like two metal concerts smashed into one. It was probably worse. No circle pits or anything like that, but I was at the front, in the middle, and that got me squished, punched in the ribs, kicked in the face, and more.

I was, honestly, dead centre and front row, right behind the barrier. I had waited outside for about forty minutes to get in, and I was at the front of the line as well. I was thinking, yup, this better be worth it. I saw Hey Geronimo walk in as I was lining up. Tempted to shout out one of their names as they filed on through with their instruments, I kept my mouth shut to save any awkwardness or embarrassment. Later, I would shout Pete’s name in my high-pitched voice just to say hello. Poor Pete had a cough which made his voice rather coarse, but his voice was still terrific considering. And, Hey Geronimo, that is, minus keyboardist Andrew, who was being replaced by Paul Furness from Ball Park Music (likely just for the duration of the tour). My guess is that he has other duties to fulfill as a band manager.

Sydney band Ashes played first, after a short wait. They are described as straight-up rock, which is fair to say. Perhaps they aren’t quite a unique outfit but all the members had such personality whilst on stage, particularly the lead guitarist. I enjoyed watching them, and listening to them, and bought their EP at the end of the show. I said thanks to Raj, the lead singer, for playing, and that they were great. He thanked me for buying their EP. Hopefully I’ll get to watch these guys play another time.

All shitty photos taken on my iPhone, just in case you thought my photography skills went down the drain. ;)

Ashes w PUSA (1)
Ashes w PUSA (2)
Ashes w PUSA (3)

Hey Geronimo, my favourite band. Well, well, well. I fall in love with them more and more each time I see them. It’s like I forget I love them that much, I just go day by day listening, then when I see them I just want to cry from all their perfection. As they did the last three times I saw them, they played Laser Gun Show, followed by The Girl Who Likes Me and Co-op Bookshop… going right through all the songs on their EP, playing their always-amazing rendition of Burning Down The House and finally, finishing, as they always do, with Why Don’t We Do Something. I probably got his name wrong again and I’ve got a shoddy memory, but trumpeter Eamon recognised me and waved madly at me from his spot at the back of the stage. :’)

Hey Geronimo w PUSA (1)
Hey Geronimo w PUSA (2)

I feel that Hey Geronimo are such a perfect match with The Presidents; they both sing their fair share of wild rock and roll, with unique, exquisite lyrics and catchy vocals. When I heard that they were supporting the band on the tour, I was ecstatic.

Hey Geronimo w PUSA (3)
Hey Geronimo w PUSA (4)

The Presidents’ set could not have been any wilder. They opened with Tiki God, which had everyone singing along, and they played a bunch of their greatest hits. Lead singer Chris Ballew was heaps of fun, singing with the microphone stand balanced on his back, holding it out to the audience, playing his basitar (yes, it’s a regular guitar with mods) flawlessly. Guitbassist Andrew McKeag had such a shy demeanour, despite his rocking bright red suit and black hat, but played perfectly and with such skill.

They played Tiny Explosions, and one of my absolute catchy favourites Some Postman, about a letter-stealing postie. They played a handful of other songs, to which the crowd sang along. At this point I was probably regretting wearing a skirt and heels, but they were comfortable heels, and with everyone jumping up and down singing and having fun, I was having fun too. I was really enjoying the music and the show The Presidents were putting on.

Finally they began to play their debut self-titled album in its entirety. I know it only goes for thirty-eight minutes, but they were probably the most insane thirty-eight minutes (give or take a few minutes for transition between songs and extra-awesome song conclusions and/or vocal introductions to songs) of my life. Normally I worry about getting knocked over or getting really hurt in the pit, but this time I was enjoying myself. Everyone sang along to Kitty, and it had never occurred to me that shouting/singing “fuck you Kitty, you’re gonna spend the night outside” would feel so good.

PUSA (1)

A few guys managed to squish their way in next to me. It sucks being small because there’s only so much you can do. I did remain in the front row, but by the end of the show, I been shifted to the right about two metres. At some point I was severely disgusted by the guy standing next to me because he was drenched in sweat and his wet sleeve kept touching my arm. He kept looking at me, probably wanted some acknowledgement of his existence by a fellow fan, but whatever, dude. I didn’t really enjoy being in such close proximity to his dripping wet hair, so I made every effort to squish the poor girl to my right (she was probably about the same age as me, and was accompanied by her parents who were also fans of the band) because she obviously wasn’t as offputting.

Regardless! I was able to successfully ignore the guy next to me. I did get kicked in the head by someone crowd surfing. There was, as usual, a sign suggesting no crowd surfing, and if you did, to do so at your own risk. I think several people had their clothes torn or purposely lost them; there were a few items of scrappy clothing that were thrown on the stage and repeatedly kicked by Andrew, back into the audience. One nearly hit my face, but I dodged it and let the sweaty guy next to me catch it. Sucked in.

In a way, although it’s like it’s every man for himself in such a crowd, there were some supportive people, and I did keep asking the girl next to me if she was alright. She was a little smaller than me, but she seemed well and good. There were some girls further to my right who were also of my stature and build, so I wasn’t alone. I might have been squished and pushed around and poked in the ribs but hearing that entire album live was just amazing. I sang along to every song, hooted and cheered between the songs, and practically screamed when they played Feather Pluckn. I just adore the line “that’s totally feather pluckn insane!”

I guess you could say The Presidents often write about creatures, animals, and their weirdness, not to mention personifying them.

Towards the second half of them playing the album, I was standing in front of Andrew McKeag – or at least, in his view. He made eye contact with me more than once, and I just screamed the words to the songs back at him and punched the air numerous times, bopping my head more crazily than the girls next to me… yeah, it was fun. He threw guitar picks towards the end, and I truly wished I could have landed one, or even a setlist – but no luck. Bollocks.

PUSA (2)

I wasn’t predicting an encore, but with a crowd like that… how could you not expect them to come on stage again for a couple more songs? Shit, the end of it was amazing. Andrew played this guitar riff that seemed to match your regular pop song… and Chris kept hinting at what song they’d play next, but in the most vague manner.

“Ah yes, that one!” he would repeat, or “I know what we can play next, yep!”

They played a medley of songs that began with that same, or excruciatingly similar, guitar riff, courtesy of Andrew. Every single time, I thought they’d play Video Killed The Radio Star, but five times over, I was totally wrong. Probably six. Maybe seven. I don’t remember. But as soon as Chris sang, “I heard you on the wireless back in fifty two”, I just screeched like a freakin’ cat.

Probably worse. It was the last song they played, but I danced, I sang, I clapped, I probably even vomited (no, just joking) throughout their rendition of Video Killed The Radio Star.

I’ll tell you what though, I nearly vomited at the end when the crowd flooded out and there was that disgusting smell of sweat lingering in the air. Despite that, I walked outside and bumbled around for a bit before I went to look for a taxi. Being two hours away from home at 12:30am isn’t exactly pleasant, but hey. I met two English guys (holy shit, I love English accents) named Steve and Grant who wanted to find a place to have a few drinks. Yeah, I like my vodka, but I’m not all that knowledgeable when it comes to bars…

Anyway, Grant was lovely enough to carry me for a bit (not home though, I wish), and we chatted about the show, introduced ourselves properly, and they accompanied me in a taxi to the station. It took some convincing for them to let me go home because they wanted me to join them for drinks. I think I was probably knackered. But I was grateful for their company, and who knows, we might be in touch? I gave them my business card. XD

I got home at 2:00am. Shrug. I know what you’re thinking. That’s totally feather pluckn insane.

Comments on this post

Being a hopeless Weird Al fan, I just have to preface my comment with this: it was only recently that I discovered that Weird Al’s song Gump (as in Forrest Gump) was a parody of Lump by The Presidents. Even the music video mimics the original one! Classy Al, as always XD

Obligatory Gump counterpart to the verse you just quoted:

Gump was a big celebrity
He told JFK that he really had to pee
He never feels too dumb because
His mom always told him, “Stupid is as stupid does”

I’m so glad you had a ball of a time last Friday with Hey Geronimo and The Presidents! It’s a show you’ve been dying to go to, and I’m glad to know it was worth it all.

I’ll admit though, the way you described the concert crowd made me really concerned for you even after the fact… I wasn’t quite able to imagine you coping within the crowd, much less myself, even though I know for a fact that you’ve been to several metal concerts in the past. Maybe it’s just my inherent inability to cope with these things that I even consider “environmental threats” (as opposed to “personal threats” like people are out to get me), that leads to an inability to imagine anyone else handling it either. Sometimes I really envy people for having higher tolerance levels of such things.

Anyway I suppose I just don’t want you ending up getting hurt or otherwise in trouble in the midst of having fun, especially considering that this is how metal concerts are in nature. I just hope you’ll be safe. At the end of the day, though, it’s assuring to know that you had a great time and made it home safely (and even some new company along the way!) :)

Last but not least… thank you for spending Sunday (nearly all of it!) Skyping with me :) It was good for an introduction to Skype, I suppose! We went through several rough patches in a single day, but at the same time — and I should think you and I know this! — we’ve had a fruitful time and strengthened our friendship in the process. I’m glad I could spend this time with you as well ♥

I hate when my work on a computer gets lost. :( I think it’s kind of worse on school computers/systems, though, because you have it there, and if it crashes, you have to do it all over again. 😒

D: I’m shocked to have read that TFL got hacked! Of all sites… That’s pretty shocking! If it was an inside job, hopefully whomever did it can be traced and it won’t happen again. And if it can be traced, then hopefully they can stop it from happening again. Something… Hm.

I’ve never heard of The Presidents, but I have heard of The Wiggles… I personally enjoyed the original group, but I guess like the TV series Zoom from ages ago, times change.

Sweaty fans sounds… disgusting, actually. :(

Feel free to send some English guys to Texas…

Damn, it sucks about your work getting lost :( your university seriously needs to rethink its backup or autosave system. I’m actually suprised that a university doesn’t have that sort of backup/autosave system in the first place /huh

Woah, TFL got hacked?! How badly? I hope it gets traced if it was an inside job, or patched if it was just a hole in the system. Hopefully everything will be up and running soon! :)

AND I CAN TOTALLY RELATE TO THE SWEATY GUY NEXT TO YOU AT THE GIG, Oh my god I went to see Deftones last month, and despite the fact I had Chris near me, this weird as hell creepy, drunk, sweaty guy kept trying to get close to me – I think he was trying to get infront of me, but at 5’1″ and at the edge of the crowd to the right, I was already struggling to see as it was, so I wasn’t letting him get near me. And then he stroked my face … :| to which at that point I think Chris gave him a stern look and he stumbled away. Dicks.

Wow, was hacked, I knew something like that was gonna happen. Especially when they have volunteers working for them.

I’m volunteering for the network with my position as staff member… honestly, anyone can get hacked, it has nothing to do with who runs the website.

The Wiggles and the Presidents simply do NOT register in my mind as one and the same. How insulting to the Presidents. THE WIGGLES FOR ADULTS? I actually snorted in disgust when I read that!!!

Hahaha @ feather pluckn insane :P

Losing your work! Not cool ♥

I didn’t know you’re a staffer at TFL! I used to be a category staffer way back in the day. :) That sucks about the network getting hacked – hopefully everything is recoverable and it’ll soon be clear how/why it happened, etc.

I HATE it when technology loses something I’m working on. I just started working on some new book material (more on that soon!) and I’m tempted to only save the file to an external, or perhaps have a running version in Google Docs to prevent any file losses.

Hi Georgina,

I was on my LinkedIn and and randomly saw your profile pic and thought, “I wonder who Georgie’s going?”

How’s your Masters? I’m at Uni Thursday evenings. I agree with the above comment from Manda. I use Google Docs myself during lectures to type up my notes and to put my assigments together (along with Google Drive where I save other relevant files). It’s a breath of relief being able to switch from computer to computer in a Uni lab, or from my work desktop to home PC, and even on my mobile, and all my stuff is there.

Gigs! I have yet to go to UNSW to see one. I should really keep track of who’s performing at UTS, we get some pretty decent bands coming through. Great pics btw, even if they were just taken with your mobile.

Hope life is swell :)

Hey Georgie! I’m so sorry that all your computer systems had crashed and that TFL.ORG was hacked! That’s never any fun.

Though, I know you guys will get it all sorted out in due time. No wonder why you’re busy that one week/end! I was telling my guy about you and how you’re still in school even though you’ve already done your 4 years, but you’re still continuing. He’s impressed with that and the fact you’re working as well. He wants to do the same, but something with either Science or Music. He’s a musician too (he writes lyrics and plays). But anyway –

You seem to go to a lot of shows, and I’m glad you’re having a life outside of the work field, and the internet life. OH! I’m sorry I haven’t made an official comment in such a long time – so that’s why its kinda jumbled. The site is almost done, however, I had my boyfriend over – so that’s why it wasn’t worked on all that much. And yes, I do have a photoblog up again :).

Anyway, Things are going good here – First day of Spring has arrived (finally), and I couldn’t be happier, except my boyfriend had to go home today :( . Sucks! But, at least I got some stuff done and out of the way! Well, girlie – if one doesn’t want to hear about the pope, he/she shouldn’t even bother watching news or going on social networking sites, that will be talking about it you know? But yeah, I understand what you mean!

As far as that woman goes – Her and I do not talk anymore. She looked up at me several times, and I just ignored her like ugh go away! But yeah, she is who she is, and I can’t change that. But, I figured since she may have lost her bathrobe, to actually give her one in return for the one she did lose. But, I just got slapped in the face. And, well, that’s okay. I’m still a bit peeved over it, but eventually I’ll get over it.

Sorry about this comment being all over the place! But, I didn’t know how to put it. :).

Oh no! Did you submit your homework online? You didn’t have a backup copy? I never do either which is why I’m paranoid about the system crashing. What if it loses my grades too!

Omg TFL got hacked too? Maybe someone just is out to get the network. Why are people so evil?

Haha you listen to such interesting sounding music I’ve never heard of. POT USA sounds like they’re making fun of USA lol. I think in any oncert you’d get punched in the ribs or kicked in the face. Especially at a concert where there are more girls than guys.

The photos are shitty at all to me. They look pretty good quality I didn’t think they were iPhone photos. But then again I’m still using an iStone. (Actually I have one of those unbreakable Nokias).

I haven’t talked to you much for ages but you dont seem to mention Armor for Sleep anymore. That was your favorite band back then!

And oh wow you were out late. It sounds like Steve and Grant were trying to hit on you. The last time I was out that late was when I was in Korea with my cousin. I met some strange guys at bars …


I did set my settings so that everyone can comment just by filling out details, but it still seems like if you are registered with they will make you log in. I noticed several people with WordPress usernames. =/ Maybe I shouldn’t use but I don’t wanna keep moving. I’ve moved like 3x because of the whole thing. Does it get annoying when a blogfriend keeps telling you she moved? lol just wondering.