Monday, December 26, 2011
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Here's a little Christmas ditty from the fantastic Wellington two piece Rock'nRoll band 'The Hasslehoff Experiment'.. Ho ho ho...
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
The Old Man & The Sea
Let Me Count The Ways I Love You
Anyway my set went ok, I had Matt sit in on the first two tracks. The first being an instrumental which he learned the piano accordian to accompany me on. Pretty phenomenal effort to get that instrument down in three weeks, and the second he did some percussion and vocals on the choruses of 'Do it right' which was the highlight of the set for me, along with the final track. Debuted a new song which I've tentatively titled 'Heaven's above'. I think it's a good song but I don't think I played it very well for it's first outing on Friday, I want to try it on my electric and dirty it up a bit, I think it would suit that more than straight acoustic guitar. I also had a few issues with my voice, I've had a pretty nasty cough for the past month which resulted in my vocals being pretty scratchy. I got through ok but have definately sung better.
Overall I give the show a 6.5/10, some good moments, the old man and the sea, do it right, mixed with some average, but I'm happy with it. Any time I get to play is worth it and I got to play with some of my Uke crew for the final song. I had three lined up to play but unfortunately one had to drop out at the last minute. Still, the other two (Angie & Ty) came through and we had a nice little hand clap thing going with the crowd:
Love that tune..
PS: If you're digging the shirt, it's from the awesome Duncan & Prudence - Newtown, WGTN. Alright!!
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Anyway, I put this track up because I think it's hauntingly beautiful in a way that only these old blues tracks seem to be. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do:
Friday, November 25, 2011
But nothings working yet. I really want to get this record finished by my birthday, March 1, so will keep persevering until I get the sound I'm after. Once this is done it's just the guitar parts for Secret Garden & Only a fool. Once that's done it's a clear run to the end with BV's and mixing. God, I'll be so glad once this is finished!
Saturday, November 5, 2011
This old house
Do it right
Only a fool
The old man and the sea
Let me count the ways I love you
Overall I give the set a 6/10. Some good moments but it also showed a lack of substance in some of the songs when I'm playing in a louder 'pub' type atmosphere.
It was a fun show
Sunday, September 4, 2011
Portrait3sep11 by Martin Andrews
Thursday, August 25, 2011
GG Allin, or Jesus Christ Allin, as he was born, was a.. shit, how do you describe GG?? Calling him a wildman may be a an easy way out, but it's also pretty accurate. He was a true punk rock wild man, defecating, fighting, having sex with men or women, self harming, all on stage. By the end of his life he was barely getting through two or three songs before the show would degenerate into anarchy and either the police would close it down or GG would end up in hospital. He had his arm broken when he was jumped by about 15 fans during one of his last shows. I've actually disabled the links to this video for more sensitive viewers, no one needs to see GG and his one inch penis shitting on stage if they don't choose to see it themselves.
So why the post? Well for one, I think his version of Carmelita is absolutely stunning. A heartfelt take on a heartbreaking song, which could only really be done credit by someone who's lived the lyrics, & if anyone has GG has. Secondly in some weird way I do see some artistic merit to GG's madness. He confronts everything. He makes you feel. Whether that be revulsion, excitement, whatever. One thing that you will not experience with GG is apathy, and that's his lasting artistic legacy in my opinion (he died of a heroin overdose around 1994). Not to say he was misunderstood. He was a genuine mad man, capable of extreme violence and not to be trusted, but there'll always be a place for boundary pushers and he was the most extreme boundary pusher of all.
Enjoy 'Carmelita' it's probably the only chance you'll get to appreciate GG Allin without shit being involved..
I've started to think about my next show. I was hoping to put together a Pisces gig as well as a smaller solo show. I was eyeing up a fund raiser for the Pisces gig for Pablo's, the outsider art studio. For those not in Wellington it's an art studio for people with mental health issues. It gives them somewhere to go once they get back out in the community, but as with most community based programmes it runs on the smell of an oily rag. Anyway, Mike, my drummer, is still not interested in gigging so the only show I'll be doing before Christmas is another solo show. Which isn't such a bad thing. Ultimately this is my thing, my goals and my future. I can't expect other people to be so passionate about my music as I am so being forced to do solo show's means I'm learning to put show's together with only me in mind. This means a completely different type of set to a band show, with songs specifically written for solo performing.. Anyway, I'm down to just the solo show but I'll make the most of it. I've asked Carly to do a full set, which she's keen on & I've approached the poet I met to open the show. Now I need to find a venue. I'm looking for a smaller show than the Meow one, somewhere that only holds 50-70 people. I want to sell it out and put on a really quiet intimate show. My set I just want to be relaxed and enjoy myself. I don't want to put too much pressure on myself for this show, I want it to be fun. I'd like to get a couple of new tunes to play so will write with that style of show in mind. I'd really like to justsit down with my guitar and play for an hour and put on a really entertaining, engaging set. that's my goal for this show.
Other things to do:
The Pisces EP artwork needs to get completed. I've got days off in September so I'll try to get it done then.
The Pisces LP needs to get finished. Nearly two years on since the first recording and it feels like I'm still miles away from finishing this record... Damn!
Monday, August 15, 2011
I recently saw Incendies, a devestating Canadian film. In it two scenes are scored by Radiohead's "You and whose army?". It's an odd choice considering both scenes are set in Afghanistan, you wouldn't really expect Radiohead while seeing child soldiers having their head shaved, but it really works. It's one of those rare occasions where you hear a familiar song fresh again, as if for the first time & it reminded me of the power of the soundtrack & if used well how it can muliply the emotional impact of a scene. It's stayed with me since & it got me thinking about other songs that have really had an effect on me either through the use of the song in the narrative, or just an awesome piece of music. So here's my Top 10 movie tracks, in no particular order:
Mad World - Gary Jules - Donnie Darko. For me there's two tracks that have had a lasting effect from Donnie Darko, Echo and the Bunnymens "Killing Moon", which is used to such outstanding effect during that opening sequence and Gary Jules's "Mad World". I chose Mad World because it seems to have carried on and had a life of it's own outside of the movie & I like how it polarises people between whether they like the Tears for Fears original or this excellent cover. Personally I like the original, but I never would've heard it had it not been for this version.
Where is my mind? - The Pixies - Fight Club. Is there any better melding of song to movie? The end sequence of the urban terrorism coming to it's full fruition is perfectly scored by this Pixies tune. Like Mad World, another example of a tune gaining popularity specifically from it's use in a film
Somewhere over the Rainbow - Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole e - Meet Joe Black. I think I'm one of only about ten people on the planet that actually enjoyed this movie (or at least admitted to it), but it's the tune that played during the closing credits which really struck me. The beautiful voice, the simplicity of the arrangement, I had no idea who it was but it kept me glued to my seat as the rest of the cinema filed out & that's about the best compliment I could've given.
Goin to Acapulco - Jim James & Calexico - I'm Not There. Not an easy movie to sit through, this Todd Haynes take on Bob Dylan. Particularly in the cheap seats at the Paramount theatre where your knees tend to be up around your chin, except for the three minutes that Jim James hits the screen, all white face paint & pure voice. Stunning version & easily the best thing about the movie. Except maybe for Cate Blanchett.
You and who's army? - Radiohead - Incendies. Radiohead while child soldiers get their heads shaved in Afghanstan? Shouldn't work but it does. Devastatingly so. See for yourself.
Big Sun - Eddie Vedder - Into The Wild. It's hard not to be moved by this film, particularly Emile Hirsch's portrayal of free spirit Chris McCandless. A film full of warmth, humanity and heart which this track by Eddie Vedder seems to capture perfectly. Also recommended from the soundtrack is 'Guaranteed'. "On bended knee/is no way to be free". Indeed.
Life on Mars - Seu Jorge - The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. David Bowie himself probably put it best: "Had Seu Jorge not recorded my songs in Portugese I would never had heard this new level of beauty which he has imbued them with". Again, don't know why it works but it does.
Fucking in The Bushes - Oasis - Snatch. Oasis were past their best at this point, but the use of this opening track from "Standing on the shoulders of giants" for the final bare knuckle fight scene is perfect. A good example of a tune raising the dramatic level of a scene.
Exile - Enya - L.A Story. One of my favourite movies is this 1991 charmer from Steve Martin. On the surface, the story of wacky weatherman Harry Telemaker trying to find meaning in superficial la la land, Los Angeles. Scratch the surface however & there's a surprising amount of depth & heart. The movie is beautifully littered with classic Enya tunes, the pick of which is "Exile".
You're the best - Joe Esposito - Karate Kid. For the sake of interest, I've tried to avoid cliche or obvious choices (Eye of the tiger, Lose Yourself) but how could I leave this 1984 classic off? Is there any more stirring montage than Daniel working his way through the All Valley Karate Championship on route to a final show down with Johnny? I think not. By the way, the front face kick by Johnny at 0.46 is freakin Kick Ass!
Honorable mentions - Things have changed, Bob Dylan, Wonder Boys & Use me, Bill Withers, American Beauty.
Monday, August 8, 2011
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Let me count the ways (I love you)
I told you brother
Never look Back
You & Me*
*Written by Carly
Another first - my first time putting a gig on. I was as nervous about this show as I've ever been & it was as significant to me as the Tugboat gig back in 2009. I'd planned that 2011 would be the year I'd put together my first show & I'm pretty stoked to have gotten it over & done with. I'm hoping to get another one in this year around late Oct/early Nov but for now I'm happy just having a few weeks off. I got pretty stressed there the closer it got so a break is much needed. The first thing was finding a suitable venue & Meow was suggested to me by an old friend & it turned out to be perfect. They were very accommodating, basically allowing us the run of the joint for the whole evening & being completely stress free in the lead up. The manager there, Damian, put his faith in me that I would put a night together that would benefit the bar and that's where the majority of the stress came from, justifying his faith. To help in that respect I advertised in the Capital Times, Under the radar, Eventfinder and Grooveguide. I also put a Facebook invite out, which I'm not really comfortable doing cause I always thought it was a bit needy, but sometimes needs must, as they say.
Next up was finding performers and my own set. I had originally planned on myself, Roman Birch, and a poet I met a few years back called Saradha Koirala. I thought an evening of singer-songwriter & poetry had potential to be an interesting evening - still do, but in this case I think Meow may be a little too large for that type of evening. A mojo cafe might be a more intimate setting for that type of show. Anyway, Roman confirmed his interest but I didn't hear back from Saradha until well into the planning stage by which time Alan had expressed his interest in playing. That ended up being a blessing as he was able to provide a lot of the gear we ended up using, monitors & mics. He & his drummer, Paul, also ended up helping me out for a couple of tracks. Once I'd confirmed the players for the evening I needed to figure out my own set. I felt I needed to step up again and accept the responsibility of being the main act for the evening and in that sense I wanted to justify people's efforts to come out on a Wed evening to support the show, which I had dubbed 'Acoustic Goodness'. The setlist came fairly quickly with some obvious choices, the uke tracks, a slide track, Poison Tree, opening with a percussion backed 'Trouble' which ended up being the highlight of the set for me. I'd wanted to start my performance without people realising I had started so it was cool to be at the mic introducing myself and conversing and then starting the acapella verses of Trouble. Hopefully it was only when Paul came in with his kick that people realised the set had actually started. we'd practiced the tune about a dozen times all up & it totally came off. The cabasa on the choruses, the snare crack for gunshot & cabasa rolls to imitate the sound of a chaingang all worked & I was stoked to kick the set off with it. Once I finished the song there was complete silence in the bar which is always a good sign for a performer. The only real issue I had with the set was the 2nd & 3rd tracks. I wasn't sure how to get from the opening track through to the uke section without losing the audience. With a stroke of luck a song came to me on the weekend before, which I named 'I remember'. It ended up being heavily influenced lyrically by the situation of another friend who was having trouble with the man in her life:
"I can remember/When you were good to me
But all that's left now/Is a memory
It used to mean something/when you'd look at me
It used to be different/Now you're just a victim to me
You've taken/What you/What you really want
& left me/With nothing/Nothing that I need
I can't/Believe/What you've done to me
So baby just leave me be"
Carly came up for the final four tracks, starting with 'Never look back' which is the very first tune we started playing together when we first started jamming about a decade ago. We then played two of Carly's own tunes, 'You & Me' & 'Fucked', before finishing with a full band version of Jimmy Jones. For this Paul came back for drums, Alan sat in with a harmonica solo & Graeme did bass. It was a fun way to finish the set & evening, & I give the whole evening a pass mark . I think we ticked all the boxes with what I had hoped to achieve, we got support through the door, we patronised the bar so they were happy, everyone played well & my set came together well. Gotta admit, I was pretty stoked at the end of the evening to feel like I'd pulled the night off.
Finally, I'd originally tossed around the idea of calling the evening 'With a little help from my friends' because so much was riding on their support both through the door and helping out on the night, from Alan & his gear to Matt on the door, Dylan putting a playlist together & doing photography for the night (both his shots above), Andre MC'ing. So it's appropriate that the final word belongs to them because as always, without whom...
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Fallen by Martin Andrews
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Monday, June 20, 2011
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Do it right
I hear the train a comin'
Let me count the ways (I love you)
I told you brother
The old man and the sea
Played the Southern Cross's "Kroon for your Kai" last night. It's never a pleasant experience trying to battle through crowd noise at a bar, where people are there to socialise and not for the performer. As I started to play my second song a group of seven or eight people took the table directly in front of me, like within a metre of where I was sitting, and just completely ignored me and started talking and laughing like they where outside in a garden bar. It's no biggie but it illustrates the quandry of doing these types of gigs. If you compare it to the Mojo shows where it's all about the performer, there's just no comparison. I raced through the set, I just decided to ignore the crowd basically & play as loud as I could. I'm not sure if I impressed people or pissed them off! The latter I'm guessing but I didn't really care. I give the show a 5/10.
Just getting off the negative tip for a second, the venue itself is great, it's a fantastic bar with a great garden bar & the mc/organiser for the night, Mara, was a lovely host & completely welcoming to a new performer such as myself. the Kai was pretty good too:
Also got see to this young guy perform again. I first saw him at Molly's a while back when we both entered the battle of the bands. He actually placed that night & went through to the final, (I didn't!) I'm not sure how he fared but he was certainly memorable, if only for his adorable naivety (& I mean that in a good way) you could tell that he truly believed in his playing and his music, as you should. He reminds me of a young Nick Drake.
He didn't fare much better than me last night but it didn't seem to faze him, he just carried on with his delicate songs & plugging his free ep/album from his website. Check it out & have a listen, he's definately got something & I hope he follows through, I'll be keeping an eye out to see what he does from here. & I'm more than a little jealous that he's organised enough to have a website & album able to be downloaded! Good kid.
PS If anyone knows how to stop Blogger from adding spaces to your sentences when you add a photo I'd be grateful to know how, cause it does my head in.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Thursday, April 21, 2011
I got Matt back up to play guitar on 'I'll wait for you', which he did with much aplomb. During rehearsal he practiced just staying calm and enjoying himself, not getting too caught up or stressed about performing. He was great and I got the impression the song went down nicely, it was pretty cool to be bale to give him the experience of his first performance, I think he'll remember it.
Another issue was not being able to hold the ukelele steady while I played it. I actually stopped playing during 'count the ways' to try to get it to sit better, which is never a good look, but managed to muddle my way through the track. It's a great little break in the set to bust out the uke so I'll need to figure that one out. I'm sure it'll come with more experience.
Overall I give the show an 8/10. It was a fun enjoyable evening and really confirmed in my mind that I can perform a full well rounded gig as a solo performer.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Dylan tidied up the three tracks for me, he took out some meaningless banter and background noise from 'This old house' & 'I'll wait for you' and removed an annoying noise at the end of 'Without you' and added reverb to the final vocals. It's raised the standard of the whole recording & I'm really happy with how it's come out. The design isn't anything flash but it's not really meant to be, I wanted it simple so it stands up over time, with such a basic cover & inlay design it should hold up over the years. I imagine this will be a recording that people will discover post whatever success I end up getting. If my 2nd or 3rd record ends up being the most popular, this ep & the Pisces ep 'Mi casa, su casa' will be recording's that people will go back & find. In that respect I think it's going to hold up well.
I took the artwork into Amstore yesterday so they're mocking up the cover, I just need to courier the finished tracks to them & we're away!
Monday, March 14, 2011
And here's the ep cover with a slightly different placement of the title & my name, I think I prefer this:
I've taken next Wednesday off work to take everything to Amstore and get it priced. IAt the moment I'm just thinking the front cover with a black folded back cover with minimal extra writing, just the song titles. I'm also heading to a friend's place on Thursday night to take some of the ruff edges off the recordings and get the levels equal cause apparantly Amstore just use whatever you show up with.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
I really like this photo, it's a good representation of the music. It was taken walking along the waterfront one evening after work, that's a sculling crew out on the water just above the album title. I also have to think about the wording on the inside cover and if I register it under my own label? I thought about calling my company "Saber Youth Productions", just a take on Sabertooth Productions. I had a dream a long time ago that I had a production company called sabertooth & we were responsible for all types of projects, not just music & it's always stuck. I prefer saber youth though cause it's less wanky..
So I guess I'd have to put this somewhere on the inside cover & what about my songs? How do I stop anyone from pilfering them. Lot's of things to think about, I know there's free legal services for musicians so I'm going to have to do a bit of investigating to find out what I need to do. At least the actual production is affordable, it's only $4.14 per cd duplication, and they do runs as small as 20 so the actual CD's production will only be around $100.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Saturday, March 5, 2011
Monday, February 28, 2011
I played this fantastic little set-up a couple of weeks back at St John's bar. This is the chap that followed me, we were the final two acts on the Saturday night. Set was:
Friday, January 7, 2011
So here's the current cover for my first ep, now called 'welcome'. It's a photo Ange took early last winter, hence the hoody. The ep will have three tracks, "this old house", "I'll wait for you"(solo) & "without you". I like the photo, not the font, that can be changed, but the lay-out is great.