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Who's that Girl?

Who’s that Girl?

by Max Barashenkov, images by Luke Daniel / 13.07.2010

There is a girl. She is dancing and I think I love her, even though we’ll never meet. Like a sunset courting the shore she moves and smiles with a flick of a hip. She smells highly poetic and slightly demonic and looking at her you see a future you were too scared to imagine. The prettiest girl in the club, she knows – her laughter cascading in beach-tinged chords – yet always, just a memory for all the boys to take home. She beckons with fiery lips and the promise of reckless rapture ‘tween her hips… then the mescaline recedes, the vibrations drop and I realize that she is not a girl at all. She’s a five-piece band from Durban.

The recognition is horrid, an abrupt end to a smitten trance, yet the feelings for her don’t go away even if she is now sweaty, swinging surfabilly guitars and sprouting shit at the audience in Spanish. That’s a lot of ‘s’ to get through, but the City Bowl Mizers are drunk and play with the ferocity of a sloppy 4am fuck – they couldn’t give a damn about awkward alliteration. The crowd is in vicious celebration of the Spaniard’s rape of the Fritz and Martin Mizer’s Argentinian roots go down to an appreciative ole-ole roar. The fact that they are no where near as tight as on the record is easily eclipsed by the sheer energy of the performance and the unexplainable Durban vibe that turns the Zula Bar dance floor into a 60s drug-boogie flashback. Guitarist Kurt Pienke looks over the madness and announces, “I was at this very club last night and I pissed my pants partying here. Literally, by the time I made it to the bathroom, all I could do was shake off.” After that kind of intimacy, the band launch into their singles and the panties drop.

The City Bowl Mizers, perhaps due to their good looks or to their infectious sound, draw the sexiest crowd in Cape Town every time they visit our neck of the woods. Their music is alive and lures rare specimens out into the night while the unashamed punk rock ethic makes you want to make sweet sex to the hot strangers next to you. Later, through a Black Label haze, bassman Alistair Heath sums up the City Bowl sound and its effect on women, “We are Justin Bieber’s vomit in the gutter.” Somehow this tongue-in-cheek admittance lends credibility to the music. One thing has to be said about the City Bowl Mizers is that, despite their relative success and exposure, they haven’t let the rockstar attitude creep in – you know there is much more love for the music here than bitches and cash.

Earlier in the night, just after my hopes of shaving a Hitler mustache for a Germany vs. Holland final were dashed, a little-know band take the stage as warm up for the Mizer circus to follow. The first song leaves me with a sour aftertaste and I’m about to give up on Kabouter, their shitty name and their digested sound, but Matty Reardon, the second Mizer axeman, takes me by the hand, makes me watch the rest of the set and whispers praises in my ear.

Admittedly, Kabouter are playing only their second gig, but already there is enough uncut charisma about the vocalist and enough songwriting mastery to prevent any real harsh words to be said. Still, they fail to provide anything we haven’t heard before, suffering from the South African syndrome of emulating American and English bands. Matty says they will be the best band in Cape Town in a couple of months and I don’t know if I should believe him.

The next morning, Matty and Alistair are drinking paint-flavoured shooters, talking about cum-shots and trying to figure out how to get laid in the two hours they have before their flight back to Durban. I’m still thinking about that girl.

All images © Luke Daniel.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Will the real Howard Stern please stand up

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  2. sigh says:

    you know max. i really, really wanted to fuck you up until this article. CBM? amateur. Metaphorical ramblings where ‘the band is a girl’. Retarded. Dislike!

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  3. Andy says:

    to quote one of our own, sigh and anon, please just let us know when your next piece comes out in Rolling Stone.

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  4. Matt says:

    Rolling Stone has jumped the shark. They gave Paris Hilton’s album three stars. More than they gave the Killers BTW. Anyone of any relevance would know that they are little more than a pop magazine now.

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  5. sigh says:

    well by that logic, let us know when you’re on a national soccer team, the president of the youth league or a film director.

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  6. the makeout tramp says:

    Louche, scuzzy, overblown: a star is born! Good going, Max.

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  7. Andy says:

    Yes they’ve taken a turn towards the mainstream, but Rolling Stone still publishes some of the most fearless and insightful modern investigative journalism through Matt Taibbi… and then there’s the venerable history of Hunter and Steadman… Y’all should show a better understanding of your cultural moment and the magazines that helped foster it…

    Replace RS for Pitchfork of whoever else runs reviews you respect.

    Anyway. I reckon this is a good piece. Max can write – and you guys are just being mean hater douches with nothing better to do than try take him down a peg. And not enough sense of self to ask why you react so negatively to a good piece of writing. I wonder where that compulsion comes from. You’re not really engaging with the raw material of the review, you’re just throwing insults.

    Which leads me to believe that you’re probably some stunted lowlife desperately trying to suck the hind teat of the advertising industry for a monthly stipend. When other people, like Max, write engaging and humorous reviews about contemporary South African music culture, you just click into envy mode and diss him – because after all – no one asked you to write this review and it all just adds to the sense of unappreciated genius and impending failure that defines your life. So lame. Stop reading this site and go sign up for the Landmark Forum

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  8. Anonymous says:

    dizzy words!

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  9. killer says:

    who the fuck wrote the article its fucking gay I like the bands though think there is some good up and coming talent.

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  10. MickJagger says:

    I have a burning desire to know what it is that all the uninformed public love about the CBM’s. I have seen them twice and find them lacking lyrically and technically average. The singer has no charisma to speak of and yet parts of Cape Town love them. Saying they have a single on 5fm does not make them a good band just their stuff is sort of radio friendly and the committee that choose which position you will be in this week understands that.
    Lyrically we in SA lack writers of note and pride of the SA musician does not allow him to buy a well written song from a publisher, a practice that is commonplace in the rest of the world.
    @ Andy correct Max can write but he does have trouble focussing on what is good and what is average. I hope you weren’t drunk like some of your other colleagues Max, as that deters from the truth.

    I must admit I don’t know the other two bands on the bill so I shall wait to see them.

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  11. RedRum says:

    Awesome article!Bummed I missed the gig…

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  12. killer says:

    o shit i didnt read your post andy .Why do you think its a public website so people can view and comment on the article which is shit cause it sounds like the writer is on crack.What a wate of time.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    Andy…please just let us know when your next piece comes out in the South African Journal Of Psychology. Indeed.

    I hope you enjoyed that little enema. Maybe next time – grab a cuppa joe, find a quiet place, stare at the mountain, dream of your desired eKasi lifestyle and chilllax…it will be ok.

    The main reason for my negative comment was that the above is about as real as the CBM.

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  14. dragon says:

    “Fighting on the net is like winning the special olympics. Even if you win, you’re still a retard.”

    Good article: well-written, engaging, relevant and, of course, the part that most people just DON’T get… subjective.


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  15. ecks oh ecks says:

    the fact that i was pretty certain of the writer’s real identity after the first paragraph means something in terms of his ability. identifiable style is pretty cool.

    oh and would someone PLEASE have sex with max? thanks.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    and don’t forget to ask for a cum shot

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  17. Desiree says:

    i dont like the mizers, but i understand.

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  18. ecks oh ecks says:

    also, andy, you’re the editor right? what is it exactly you have against actually editing the copy featured on mahala?

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  19. Anonymous says:

    yes, someone please fuck him, he sounds like he needs it

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  20. Kabouter says:

    When in Rome?…

    (insert shameless self marketing here) check out http://www.myspace.com/kaboutertheband and http://www.reverbnation.com/kabouter to make up your own mind 🙂


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  21. MichaelJacksonHasSpread says:

    I liked the Hunter S. Thompson quote at the beginning… oh, wait…

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  22. ecks oh ecks says:

    @MJHS do you mean it’s a bit like that girl in the rum diaries?

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  23. Anonymous says:

    oh jesus, another HST discussion

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  24. Definitley not Rauol Duke says:

    I was somewhere around Mahala, a varitable creative desert, when the nausea began to take hold. I remember saying something like: I feel a bit light headed. Maybe I shouldn’t read. Suddenly, there was a terrible roar all around me, and the sky was full of what looked like huge copycats, all swooping and screeching and diving around the net, and a voice was screaming: Holy Jesus. What are these goddamn animals?

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  25. LD says:

    Haters gonna hate.

    Again, Max pumps out a great article.

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  26. ecks oh ecks says:

    what’s a varitable creative desert?

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  27. Max says:

    all those people who are going about HST and Roaul Duke and whatever smartass thing you got to say after reading Fear and Loathing and thinking that you know journalism and writing – a big sincere THANK YOU for having the HST image conjured up by this piece. And thanks for taking time out of your undoubtedly busy and important schedules to take a little dump on this page. We are going to collect all your nuggets of wisdom and release an anthology of South African narrow-mindedness.

    too bad you are also extremely dumb assholes who have never got over postmodernism or are too badly stuck in it. Somewhere someone said: “Saying that modern journalists copy HST is like saying poets copy Shakespeare”

    much love

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  28. ecks oh ecks says:

    jesus christ max, one person mentioned him? which i know must be irritating but that reaction is maybe disproportionate? wtf.

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  29. MichaelJacksonLikesBread says:

    @DNRD exactly.
    50 bucks says Max doesn’t even know what mescaline looks like.

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  30. Anonymous says:

    Somewhere someone said: “Saying that an internet blog writers is a journalist is like saying a person who can make 2 minute noodles is a Chef de cuisine”

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  31. o'relly? says:

    “Saying that an internet blog writers is a journalist is like saying a person who can make 2 minute noodles is a Chef de cuisine”

    ‘cos obviously Max has only blogged on the internet.
    I mean, you knowing him so well, and all.

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  32. ecks oh ecks says:

    you *can* only blog on the internet, dumbass.

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  33. o'relly? says:


    I was sure you could, like, blog in a forest or at home, or something.

    Way to miss the point, though.
    I’m sure you’re REAL proud of yourself.
    Being an educator, and all.

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  34. Anonymous says:

    Reminds me of an Irish joke…

    O’relly tells Max he’s thinking of buying a Labrador. Fook off say’s Max, have you seen how many of their owners go blind.”

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  35. ecks oh ecks says:


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  36. MichaelJacksonLooksFed says:

    “her laughter cascading in beach-tinged chords”
    Let’s make an anthology of Max’s bad metaphors instead.

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  37. Anonymous says:

    Here are some more Max might want to bust out in the next piece…


    One of my favourites…

    “She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up”

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  38. Max says:

    “She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up”

    hahahahahaha, that’s a beautiful line

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  39. MichaelJackson'sInBed says:

    Actually, that is a great line. “Beach-tinged, cascading laughter” on the other hand, is a little bit too ‘high school poetry competition’

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  40. creepy steve says:

    the city bowl misers are south africa’s answer to the johnas brothers, and you know what they don’t critise the johnas brothers in america. why because it’d be unpatriotic! so how dare people bring up city bowl miser’s lack luster lyrics and technical inferiority in this comments thread what next bring up the parlowtones argument again. i want to bask in the dying beams of the post world cup patriotic glow.

    what i don’t understand is max said in the beginning they all looked like girls or what ever, did he make out with any of them ?

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  41. […] City Bowl Mizers | Kabouter | Who’s that Girl? | Mahala […]

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  42. Luke says:

    opinions n’ shit.

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  43. Bob says:

    I love how people comment like they have valid opinions that anyone cares about.

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  44. Twakkie says:

    This place is tampon central

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  45. Cooler as ekke says:

    I bet it was Kurt who said the last comment.

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  46. Tryn says:

    I loved your article max 🙂

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  47. sarah_j_fell says:

    Nice piece Max 🙂

    and haha @Creepy Steve

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  48. Whyno? says:

    Whether this is shit or not, it is all so fucking funny! Please keep this whatever up!

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  49. biobot says:

    I like boobs.

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  50. ClaireinCT says:

    The comparison of the band with a pretty girl just doesn’t work. Rest is ok.

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  51. Gigantic Faggot says:

    I love how Capetonians who think that music began in 2001 with The Strokes comment like they have valid opinions that anyone cares about.

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  52. Nich says:

    Jesus. This comment section is the reason why I don’t read anything on this fucking website anymore.

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  53. Roger Young. says:

    You don’t have to read the comments. God knows I don’t.

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  54. Rosa Sparks says:

    Cool article, tries too hard at times though.

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  55. Ponies says:

    But the commentards are the best part!

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  56. Anon says:

    Fucking BULLSHIT article. you are a kunt Max Barashenkov. i hope you die

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  57. Anonymous says:

    SHIT. what a liar

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  58. Willy Man says:

    Sick Pics Luke!!

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