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GF, 7 Ltl. Miller St
Brunswick East,
VIC 3057 AUS

Opening Hours

Wed–Fri 12–5pm
Sat 12–4pm



With energy stolen from the bohemians who decorate the room, Maggie Kontev & Tarquin Charlesworth

(Download PDF)

In Bohemia, electricity currents flow in three states: alternating, pulsating and direct. Initially the potential of these three states seemed limitless, like Rock’n’Roll. Electricity was unpredictable, a genuine unknown. Untouched, except on the fringes, for centuries. Experimented with, excitedly, for about 20 years, before becoming a science in itself. Alternating currents change direction frequently, using this new shift of direction to generate power.

A pack of dogs trail behind me everywhere I go.
He was a cattle herder once so he understands
the consequences of pack-mentality.

At the center of the pit there are smiles masked by terror. Like ants in a death spiral, metalheads
await carnage. The energy stolen from the mosh is fed into the amps and sent back to the
worshippers, repeated over and over, creating a current for nosebleeders. Blood laced cloths
are collected after the show and made into an altar to signify the comradery of pits.

I elbowed you last night, you loved it.
Sorry, the girl inside me loves to shuffle.

Pulsating currents oscillate values of electrical inputs, but the direction remains the same. Dipping in and out of relevance, feigning a kind of novelty that was once promised. With Energy Stolen From the Bohemians Who Decorate the Room surveys the infrastructure that has accumulated to serve a shanty town rock’n’roll society. Motocross fuse boxes, HairMetal CPUs, headbanging tulips and podiums of impartial viewers stay to watch the charade. Navigating the avenues between a grid of shacks, catching glimpses of these diehard living scenarios. We’ve been here before, sickened by the deja-vu. I’ve got to remind myself that I’m not prophetic.

“Hey hey,
My My,
Rock n Roll can never die”

Direct currents are often a conversion of alternating currents, via a rectifier. What was once untamed and exciting has been studied and quantified over time. The generation of a novel energy is out of the question, we are now just waiting for the light to fade. This will be the long slow slide into a catatonic bliss, rather than the blaze of glory that all rock’n’rollers were promised. Sisyphus rock’n’rolled up that hill every day (an obvious allegory, I am aware).

We used vaseline for lube. From the back seat I look up at the ‘Black Ice’ labeled air
freshener dangling from the rearviewmirror. He starts the engine again, too slow to catch
the accelerator, we roll backwards down the hill, 50 years rewinded.

He left the cordless drill on, it soundtracks our crash.

Pack up that dusty chair, before you know it that hairspray will melt down your spine.

As the icons of the genre have aged and played their ballads, their once-promised cathartic departure from this world has been substituted by exit strategies. The candle that burned at both ends, outstretched the light that was projected from either. Hours logged convincing the world of your legacies have earnt you sick leave, super and dental care. Your plumber can drum twice as good as your sparky can hit a lick. It’s hard to flirt with death when she never writes you back.

“It’s better to burn out, than fade away,
The King is gone but he’s not forgotten.”

I get this unshakeable feeling that the roll aspect of this genre is a kind of prophecy. The younger generation fall in love with it and worship the idols that refuse to die. Lux Lisbon cried over her Aerosmith records, then she died. Sir Jagger remarries at 80, Ozzy is a diabetic, Alice Cooper’s golf handicap is +5 strokes. Doing the bare minimum to keep from fading away.

Plugged in, checked out.

Written by Tarquin Charlesworth and Maggie Kontev