Sunday, March 12, 2006

Article - Hip-Hop 4 Dumeez (Metro, SMH, 10/3/06)

Everything you didn't want to know about hip-hop will not be explained to you.

by Benito Di Fonzo (Metro, SMH, 10/3/06)

Hip-hop-lomat Bushman has been to former porn cinema the Hub before.

"He was in the pictures they were showing there," says his sidekick Vowel Movement, who along with Bushman will be "aducating" Australians in hip-hop there.

"That was my previous employment," Bushman says. "I was known for having the least endurance. Of all the people who had been in pornography, no one had ever seen anyone go as short as me."

This journey, however, is to bring to Sydney the show Hip-Hop 4 Dummeez, a hit at two festivals in their Canadian homeland, Montreal's Just for Laughs and the Ottawa Fringe Festival. It runs as part of the Cracker comedy festival.

Set out like a special-edition DVD, complete with extras and deleted scenes, Hip-Hop attempts to explain the fine points of the form to a mainstream audience.

Bushman: "You may learn something, but that will only be in spite of the jokes."

Vowel: "You'll probably forget things."

Bushman: "You will watch our show and you will come out knowing less things, not only about hip-hop, but about your own self."

Vowel: "It's like a weekend smoking weed straight. That's how you'll walk out of there after 60 minutes."

The duo created the show with Jerome Sable, a fellow member of Canadian hip-hop collective the Grafenberg All-Stars, who took their name from the doctor who "discovered" the G spot.

"We has found the G spot of hip-hop and we tickle it, ever so gently," Bushman says.

What advice can they offer readers who want to fake being "fly"?

Bushman: "One thing that's very important is that he's gotta wear some bling. It's like five-necklace minimum, five-ring minimum. If you go under that, it's a faux pas."

Vowel: "It's also important that he apply the linguistic phenomenon of Pizig Lizatin, which is the hip-hop appropriation of language through adding an 'iz' to absolutely anything. Also, if he's referring to where he's from, he'll want to take the first letter from his hometown and dot it or spot it ..."

Bushman: "... or vill it or kill it or town it or down it."

Vowel: "Sydney would then be the S Spot, or S-Town."

If you were from Mosman, then, you'd call it Mo-Town?

"Or Mo-Money-Town," Vowel says.

How should one address a lady?

Bushman: "You can call her a bitch, a ho. If she's a hip-hop girl she'll understand it's a positive thing."

Vowel: "Yeah. If you say, 'I really respect the line of work you're in, bitch,' that works."

Bushman: "You got to visualise cool waves while saying that."

The characters of Bushman and Vowel Movement have known one another since primary school.

Vowel: "We used to rhyme words together, like jelly and -"

Bushman: "Belly."

Vowel: "And K .Y. jelly."

Bushman: "With gay man's belly."

Vowel: "We passed that in class."

Bushman: "Well, the rhyme, that is. We is a couple of geezers, but we is not a 'couple'. I mean, off the record, there is times when I like a snuggle on the road, but that is not to be put in the article."

Do they think other hip-hop artists are as close as these two - such as, say, 50 Cent and Eminem?

Vowel: "I don't think there's any real emotional bond [between them], just raw sex. But when it comes to Eminem and [producer] Dr Dre, I think there is definitely like a strange, father-son kind of Amsterdam experience."

Can hip-hop change people's lives?

Bushman: "Definitely - for the worse."

Vowel: "We are parasites on the face of this earth and we are here to spread our disease."

Should people take shots, then, before the show?

Bushman: "That would be wise. Unless you want me living in your stomach for the next six months."

(originally appeared in Metro in The Sydney Morning Herald, 10/03/06)

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Rant - Bardflys Disclaimer.

Bardflys would like to point out that this night may contain adult themes. It may contains the words ‘clit,’ ‘nipple,’ and ‘writhing xylophone’ but only in context.

It may contain, whole or in portion, the phrases ‘excellent crevice,’ ‘liquid nails,’ or ‘naked naughty nuns wetly whipping with bicycle pumps above the Mandraxed stallion of my quivering…’ etc.

All of which will be entirely appropriate in the setting of the particular poem, be it an Austrian castle brimming with busty wenches straddling steins so over-overflowing with amyl and Bavarian ales that eventually they can do nought but bubble seductively down the snow white valley of their ever-wobbling pink peaked… etc

Or be it just a normal suburban kitchen in which a happy housewife is preparing a family meal, before suddenly succumbing to some strange primal urge to engage in congress with a legume and a blender in three speeds, whilst baking crystal meth and chanting the Qu’ran backwards as she softly bastes her black areolad and petticoat clad bust with chocolate icing, ‘100’s & 1000’s’ and LSD before… etc.

Which in itself will be the opinion not of the author, but rather the voice of the fictional character themselves, be they a handsome and softly self-deprecating playwright, whose failed journey through life represents a blackly comic analogy of the powerless of man in an amoral universe that even the most hard-hearted can empathise with, unless they’re complete bunts.

Or be they a stunning young Sicilian duchess discovering her dawning sexuality as she decadently explores the peasantry of Renaissance France accompanied by her bevy of hormone hungry maids and the unbridled lust of an eight-limbed alien named ‘Zartor the Libidinous’ whose strange and ever horny race alone in the universe has the ability… etc.

None of which will be a reflection of the opinions of the venue, the organisers, their families, the way they were raised, or anything they might have done with their second cousin in the kitchen, and any complaints about which can be emailed to with a full description of the offending scene, highlighting any smutty words, drug references, and un-simulated sex acts involving three yaks and an acrobat in the catacombs of Vatican City.

Because after all, at it's core, it's a family show.

Are there any Questions?

Fiction - The Bardflys – A Brief Ancient History. (aka The Di Fonzo Code)

Somewhere in the darkness of time, between the cooling of the earth and the invention of Germans, a group of rough hewn individuals, some drunk on fermented fruits and grains, stood in the corner of a cave and told strangely hyperbolic and extravagant tales of hunting, drinking and dealing with Centrelink. These stories became known as Performance Poems, and the people who told them were referred to as The Long Term Unemployed.

One group in particular, who were known as The Bardflys, cave-hopped far and wide in search of a free meal. Their tales of woe and heroism, self-deprecation and debauchery, were renowned across the Earth and earned them many a $5 steak and punch in the bollocks.

The bloodline of The Bardflys is carried on today, as is evidenced in the body of work sometimes referred as The Di Fonzo Code; a group of poems, plays and anecdotes of half forgotten ambition that, many scholars swear, bear in them, somewhere beneath the scatological cheap laughs and self deprecating bad grammar, secrets of epic failure unknown to The Illuminati, The Masons, The Mansons or even The Australian Labour Party.

Many of the early Bardflys played difficult rooms in the Western Suburbs of The Middle East, which was not always the utopia of peace and harmony that it is today. These pioneering poets were cruelly tortured, and even in the case of a nice young Jewish boy by the name of Jesus who discovered some people just couldn’t take a joke, were nailed to giant paddlepop sticks for their blackly comic satirical sermons. None of which deterred them from their craft, as they were obviously idiots.

During Europe’s Dark Ages the Bardflys couch-hopped Asia, leaving behind as their legacy Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and two-minute noodles, before re-emerging in Venice where they catalysed an artistic and social movement known today as The Renaissance, which reached its glorious apogee with the invention of the steam-driven vibrator.

Throughout time, on this planet and others, members of the Bardfly bloodline, such as Shakespeare, Da Vinci, Lorenzo De Medici, Lao Tzu, Marlowe, Baudelaire, Poe, Dylan (Thomas and Bob), Ginsberg, Kerouac, Bruce, Ivan Milat, Bukowski and others have carried on the tradition of bumming $5 steaks through performing their half baked poems, plays and other assorted pieces of savagely obvious self-pity for the delectation of a discerning, and often quite mad, public.

The British invasion of Terra Australis brought with it parasites, rats, and convicts who carried the Bardflys bloodline. This has been evidenced by Lawson, who gave his life for our sins in the Bardfly methode traditionale of passing out in a drunken stupor on a Hyde Park bench, as well as Patterson, Humphreys, Hope and others. Though of course not Les Murray who is, as everyone knows, of the bloodline of Shape Shifting Reptiles who must drink the blood of Aryan babies to keep mammalian form, but I digest…

In the latter years of the 20th Century an ancient Bardfly known as Homer in the Greek Islands where his piece The Iliad earned him so many bevies that he is traditionally thought to be blind, did emerge in the Great Southern Land and, under the pseudonym Phil Frea began, along with a fellow from a clan of violent Scottish cannibal dwarves named Dumbly, began a gig at the ancient and revered Hopetoun Hotel (for the price of a pig and a comely wench), which then moved to The Sando, where they were joined by Chicago Bardfly Phil Norton and Australia’s premiere African-American-Italian poet Miles Merrill, before moving to a serendipitous little Glebe abode known as The Friend In Hand where it was once more co-hosted by one of the pure line of Di Fonzos, as tradition demands.

After escaping to Sydney from a Siberian gulag where he was imprisoned for defecating upon the mummified corpse of Lenin whilst singing The Internationale backwards, former Transylvanian rat-butcher and KGB double-agent ‘Vlad The Pale’ brought us the misspelt splendour of, which many have sited as the catalyst of the collapse.

After six years in the seventh ring of Glebe the Bardflys took a break to de-tox and investigate ever more cunning methods of self-unemployment, before re-emerging in the salubriously moth-eaten surrounds of Doris’s Hotel Hollywood, (which is not actually in Hollywood, but Surry Hills) where it will reign for a thousand years… or just go belly up like the last gig did... whatever.

(to be continued…)

PR - Bardflys Returns (like a dog to it's own vomit)


Bardflys Returns!

WHAT? Bardflys spoken word & poetry night.

WHERE? Hotel Hollywood.

WHEN? Tuesday March 7th, 8pm

HOW? 2 Foster St. Surry Hills. (5 min walk form Central.)

HOW MUCH? $ 5 (we must be crazy, that’s an order.)

Yes, Sydney’s longest running performance poetry gig BARDFLYS is returning to grace (and disgrace) the stage of it’s new home – HOTEL HOLLYWOOD, first Tuesday of each month, with Tuesday March 7th being it’s official re-opening.

For over a decade Bardflys ( has manifested itself as Sydney’s premiere spoken word and poetry night. Beginning at Surry Hills’ Hopetoun Hotel back in 1788, Bardflys was finally induced, by a large beer ryder, to shift to the Sandringham Hotel, Newtown, before being poached by The Friend In Hand Hotel, Glebe, for a glorious seven-year residency. Sadly Bardflys was shut down last year by the brutal jackboot tactics of the Fascist Howard Government (not, as reported, by the laziness of it’s co-ordinators) Yet ever bold and brazen and ready to keep it real and take it too the man, Bardflys now shifts shop to the olde worlde glamour and mothballed magic of Hotel Hollywood (

Co-hosted by TUG DUMBLY (ABC 702, Radio National, Long Bay) and BENITO DI FONZO (serial masturbator and child strangler), the night will feature the Bardfly’s House Band, led by bass wunderkind John Maddox (Gauche, Mr. Bamboo), and a bunch of the finest spoken-word artisans, poets, comics, bullshit artists, satirists, scammers and musicians this side of Dubbo, as well as from around the rest of the world. Oh yeah, and all culminating in Australia’s longest running and most dangerous open-section SLAM! (Please leave your ego in the toilet).

BARDFLYS re-opening extravaganza will feature the singular talents of Melbourne spoken-word maestro STEVE SMART, as well as the unpackagable performance shenanigans of Newtown’s own COLONEL FUNTASTICO.

BARDFLYS shops at Bi-Lo, and has been featured by The Sydney Morning Herald and The Weekend Australian - so we must be good, see?

For photos and more info see or call
Benito Di Fonzo - 0415 731 974 (
Tug Dumbly – 0413 503 027