Bados Earthling was a street art performance artist, not a busker but guerrilla theatre performer interacting with the public in Melbourne’s laneways. Bados made himself into a cartoon complete with a handheld chalkboard speech balloon. He is a fun character, friendly and approachable. Bados claims that he is from the future but time travel appears only to have confused him and has provided him with no insights. Bados’s naïve interaction with contemporary culture provides a mirror, or rather, a blank blackboard. He has been on my radar for 3 years, in 2010 he was collaborating with street sculptor Nick Ilton. I’ve never managed to see an actual performance, relying only online videos and still photos.
Then Bados Earthling announced that he was starting a band – “something like TISM”. Bados later denied this: “Its funny TISM never really entered our minds until after our first gig @ CoCoa Jackson. They never really influenced any of my art in the past. Including the development of Bados Earthling & performance graffiti. I’ve never owned a Tism C.D. or record and never saw them in concert. Until recently when I bought a box set with a C.D. and 2 DVD’s. It was out of curiosity. I do like them though I guess you can say we will be Tismish.”
Everyone claims to know someone in TISM (This Is Serious Mum) – as all the members are masked, it is an unchallengeable claim. There was always chaos accompanying a TISM gig, it would be late, the audience would be hassled and then both chaos and music would erupt on stage. TISM describes itself as “part Dada, part-paramilitary, part-comic” and the identities of Ron Hitler-Barassi and Humphrey B. Flaubert, fit into the tradition of Rrose Selavy and Monty Cantsin.
And this is where Bados Earthling comes back into the story now with a band – the Wild Audio Society with WaDe on keyboards, Bados and Songstress X on vocals. The gothic steampunk style of WaDe improves his claims to be a time traveller but from a different time from Bados. The Wild Audio Society was officially founded in March 2012 (there must be some time travel involved).
I still haven’t got to a gig by Bados Earthling and the Wild Audio Society but I have experienced them online. Ever keen to follow the popular meme the Wild Audio Society sing about “Where’s the Banksy?” and “Free Pussy Riot”. The Wild Audio Society’s electronic rock of “Free Pussy Riot” sounds like a parody of Liabach.
Bados says “my own influences came out of Dada, Devo on the concept behind Bados, not musically, street art and comedians I have done a little stand-up over the years & fringe type comedy.”
The other band that I should mention in this mix-post is Curse Ov Dialect with their politically conscious rap with ethnomusicological sources and a hip-hop base. Curse Ov Dialect’s performances are over the top and chaotic artistic events that make TISM look like a private school variety show.
I have neglected examining Melbourne’s music in this blog, believing that it was better covered elsewhere and forgetting the importance of music to post-modern avant-garde art in general. I had been in that scene decades ago and wanted to maintain the focus of Black Mark on the visual arts but occasionally you have to make diversions.