Wednesday, August 12, 2009

the importance of being mojo

mojo... not exactly a definable quality but definitely something none of us want to lose. as popularised by austin powers last decade to a generation of the then uninitated. but long preceded by ancient hoodoo practicing shamans as they conjured magic through the mysterious burning of substances, rhythmic dancing used in the practice of healing, necromancy & summoning of supernatural powers, other world entities even. like jimi hendrix... cut to now.

nestled in the subterranean matmos of york st, sydney lies mojo music. champions of the twisted ravaged soul of stuff that fell off the vinyl B side to ear-candied vintage rarities of old school garage, rockabilly through to impossible-to-find back catalogues of country, jazz, blues and psychedelia...

walking into this visually eclectic original sleeve/postered wall-to-wall coated space is a virtual rock n roll time-warp. and oh how i warped.

why did the rolling stones never sound so good in my pre-adolescence as my mother relentlessly force-fed them in large unappetising dollops from full to bursting mission speakers? not until frank pumped up the bass in the checkered tungsten cavern beneath the streets & busted out those dirty tunes which promised perfection did enlightenment come, as neville, caterpillarlike on lewis carroll's magic mushroom, smiled over the counter knowingly. maybe it was the mojo bubble, or the beer, but alice went ahead & swallowed the red pill...

with a beer in hand, i soaked up the regular wknd instore this time featuring little known but big in style & savvy sound, the nevada strange who partially mirror an early velvety nick cave sound fused with light post-punk guitar rifts fronted by a really cute swaggering lead singer swathed in 70s hip jumble shop couture [loved the striped beige jacket] with all the right mic moves. the narrow shouldered boho drummer looked like he'd be more comfortable behind a bass but then he started smashing that kit & everything worked in a way that fresh-faced acting students wax rhetoric about not playing but being.

the time warp complete after casually schmoozing the room, addled with beer & intoxicating conversation i left that place with a copy of "live at the old quarter, houston, texas" by
townes van zandt who i ashamedly did not know existed prior to the day but listen to now whilst tapping keyboard keys theoretically in sync to his quietly tumultous texan guitar folk warbles. it makes me want to play what basic blues rifts i once knew, howl at the moon & drink women on wine [in that order]... all on a verandah. "i wanna trace her with my body, i wanna track her with my mind..."

the red pill lives on. my mojo partially revitalised until next visit when rabbit hunting will take my running-on-empty soul back onto york st through the looking glass right under the nose of the imperious queen of hearts.