Wednesday

more fun with recommendation algorithms

so nearly a third of people who look at google laptops decided to just by the bon iver album instead? really?

Sunday

Poetic Injustice

This has never happened before:

Someone at work was telling me I was gimpy for wearing a bike hat. That it wasn't cool.

Last week he fell off his bike and hurt himself. He broke his fingers.

Take that, karma.

Tuesday

day 04 - a song that makes you sad

In at number 4: 'I know you think I've got to be joking, but if you touch him again then I'm going.'



A song that makes me sad is a lot more difficult than a song that makes me happy. almost any song makes me happy, even the sad ones, because if they make me feel anything, then that emotional engagement ultimately results in happiness.

Except Pink Glove.

Although Pulp's 'Different Class' was the first CD I ever bought, after that I totally missed the boat with them. I kept up with what they were doing, but as much as I loved them, I never actually bought any of their other albums.

Eventually I came across 'His and Hers' in a charity shop in 2005, and quite got into it. I can't believe that's 6 years ago, I was sat on the bus home from work in manchester with my awkward portable cd player that didn't have jog correction, listening to Pink Glove, the closest I'd been to tears for a long time.

It's hardly the first time jarvis had written a song about longing after (even porking) his ex - not even 'do you remember the first time?' was the first time (argh clumsiness) - but there's something about the passion and desperation in this song. the prosaic assault on his former lover's new, idiotic boyfriend, who's sapping her personality and trying to turn her into the woman he really wants.

It's awful seeing someone - a friend or an ex - go through that. But from the ex's point of view, being jilted for someone *inferior to you!* is horrendous. Seeing the person who you thought was happily single, you were waiting for the chance to make a move but now she's with *him*? In an obviously doomed long distance romance, more accurately the fall out from a fling with no chemistry-fuel to go anywhere anyway.

This song brought it all back. All the bitterness, all the nastiness, all the *why isn't it me?* feelings. Banging my head against the bathroom wall because she wouldn't be with me. Feelings I'd exegesised in page after page of torturous introspection, in diaries I've got in a box in a cupboard that I hope I'll never open. The knowledge that for all the repairs you'd made to your emotional base-camp, you'd burn it all down again for a chance to be in their arms. Even if you know they're a waste of time and you'd be better off without them. Walking into the garden, looking up at the sky and thinking 'why?'.

Sigh.

You'd better watch what you're wearing,
if you want him to come round and see you tonight.
Uh, uh, uh, oh. Uh, uh, uh, uh. Uh, uh, uh oh.
And he doesn't care what it looks like,
just as long as it's pink and it's tight.
It's what he likes.
Uh, uh, uh, oh. Uh, uh, uh, uh. Uh, uh, uh oh.

Mmmmm, so what should you do?
Should you stop being you?
Just to be how he wants you?
Mmmmm, say you'll visit your mum,
and tell me that you'll come,
and meet me in the afternoon.

Mmmmmmmm
He's got your heart,
You've got his soul.
oh well You might as well know.

Alright, I know you're never going to be with me,
but do you understand now that maybe,
you got it right first time.
I realise that you'll never leave him,
but every now and then in the evening,
you get it right first time.
I know you think I've got to be joking,
but if you touch him again then I'm going.
you got it right first time.
You get it right first time.

And now you've done it once now he wants you,
to wear your pink glove all the time.

Uh, uh, uh uh.

And he says you're a fine looking woman,
So you'll do it again and again, all again,
So he can take, so he can take it off you now.

Mmmmm.

So what should you do?
Should you stop being you?
Just to be how he wants you?
Mmmm, say you'll visit your mum,
then tell me that you'll come,
and meet me in the afternoon.
Mmmmm, he's got your heart,
You've got his soul.
You might as well know.

Alright, I know you're never going to be with me
but do you understand now that maybe,
you got it right first time.
I realise that you'll never leave him,
but every now and then in the evening.
You got it right first time.
I know you think I've got to be joking,
but if you touch him again then I'm going.
you got it right first time.
You get it right first time.

Uh, uh, uh, ah.

Well you'll always be together,
cos he gets you up in leather.
And he knows your friend called Heather
That he never kissed tonight,

So you know what to wear at the end of the day,
and I'd laugh if I saw,
but I'm out of the way.
Yeah it's too long ago,
Can't care anymore,
but I wanted to know;
is it as good as before?
Oh it's hard to believe,
that you'd go for that stuff,
all those baby-doll nighties,
with synthetic fluff.
well it looks pretty good,
yeah it fits you OK,
Yeah, wear your pink glove yeah
you put it on the wrong way.

Jesus, Alright, I know you're never going to be with me
but if you try sometimes oh then maybe
you'd get it right first time.
I understand that you'll never leave him,
but every now and then in the evening.
You get it right first time.
I know you think I've got to be joking,
but if you touch him again then I'm going.
you got it right first time, yeah.

Oh, I realise that you'll never leave him,
but every now and then in the evening
Oh You got it right first time,yeah
Oh I know you'll always be with me
Oh do you understand now that maybe
You got it right first time
Oh you got it right first time...


It never gets me like it did that time, on the bus back from the Salford quays coin store. But it always reminds me. I guess I can't complain, I'm happy now, and I'm glad for the experience. Always thank for jailor on your way out.

Edit:

I forgot to talk about the kind of heart break in the song where someone you love settles for someone boring and you know they'll never break up because they're just so reliable and dull. that's in there too.

Wednesday

Debug Yourself



So; what's the justification in me putting three tracks together from 4 years ago?

It's a bit strange, I admit.
Thee tracks have always been on my mind. Situation was meant to turn up on an ex libris records compilation that never happened, the other two tracks were meant to be a single or an album or something, which I tentatively called 'The Gathering' for some reason. I think it says something about the direction my music is headed in now, despite the fact that these are so old. To The Boats was a holiday from complex structures and out-rock. I want to do those things again.

I'm proud of this e.p., even though I feel i can't take the credit for it.



Sleeve notes:

A small but dense collection of archived tracks.

Situation Tragedy was an experiment in acoustic doom-core, improvised and recorded 'mostly live' summer 2006.

The other two tracks were meant to be... something more, but came out of the same era of recording in 2007. The Dirtbox Experience became 'tofu', when performed by To The Boats. Sacred Charm of Making (originally 'reed hove branch') will surface on a future project. While technically demos, they both have something that will invariably be lost by the time the 'finished' version appears.

See individual song pages for more detailed sleeve notes. All in all, I think these are three strange and different takes on metal tropes.

Situation Tragedy:
Recorded at collerabbey studios, portrush, during ex-fest 2006.
Guitar, piano and drums recorded live, one-take. Vocals recorded same day, also one-take.

Ideally the mixdown should be 6 minutes 66 seconds, but the outro was too nice to cut.

Dirtbox Experience:
The main riff here was originally played acoustically, and was written when I was living with Ian out of To The Boats. Back then, we played it in a way that felt like a Jansch/Renbourn Duet. I put this demo together, and the riff came out all distorted like, and when we put it together as a band, in our second iteration without bass-player Sam, it mutated again into a more funky thing.

I think this is a classic grilly track, with far too many incongruous sections, break-neck drum programming, and poor mixing. There's an attempt at a doom-dub crossover in the middle, followed by something that can't work out if it's break-core or spazz-core, followed by something attempting 65daysofstatic-style post-rock. compared to the other 'second batch' To The Boats material, which will comprise the 'In Case Of Emergence' album, Tofu has by far the richest structure, and this demo from 2007 is basically why.

I had the vocal sample, the open monologue from some random hardcore 'jazz' film, lying around for a while. It struck me as both nasty and faintly sad, as well as peculiarly trying to fetishise britishness, and I knew I had to use it somewhere. Also, she had massively overacting eyebrows, but that doesn't come across in the audio.

Sacred Charm of Making:
Originally entitled 'reed hove branch', inspired by my long-term association with that employment agency.

I never quite knew what to do with this track, until I watched John Boorman's wonderfully ludicrous 'Excalibur'. Suddenly I was gripped by using the sections of the song to tell the story of the rape of Igrayne, and wrote lyrics to that effect. Note the appearance of 'Anaal Nathrakh'.

I took it to the band, and there's a recording of us jamming for ten minutes on the middle section, which is quite familiar to a piece by Nick Cave and The Dirty Three, featured on the x-files album. However, they weren't happy about the ferocity of the main riff (possibly the closest riff i've written to my heroes, Ephel Duath) and wanted to slow it down, which ruined it for me. This happened to be the session when Corey announced his retirement.

Consider this a sneak preview of the material that will be featured in my next project, 'Kno', which will hopefully be more along the lines of this.

Friday

Album diary 3



We had a band meeting a few nights ago, in which we decided not to go with a live drummer. Basically, bringing in a new drummer, with their own style and technique, to learn all these songs just to record them felt like a bit of a faff; so the album will be recorded at home, layered, and then sent off for mixing. This is basically what we were going to do, I think, but now I can really see it happening.

It's funny, I sat down this week, and thought, this record is never going to get done. All this drum tracking, dodgy guitar tones, and fluffed takes aren't going to make for a good record.

And then I went back and listened to some of the drum tracks i'd sequenced back in the day, and they were alright. It gave me hope.

The main thing I wanted to talk about in this diary, and didn't, was synthesiser settings. Phasing - not literally phasing (where a signal is delayed by a small but changing amount), but controlling a filter cutoff with an LFO - is something i'm finding hard to get right. I find it hard to get the right amount of subtlety, and part of that is because i'm not hearing the whole mix. That's why I'm so glad I got my midi-usb connection working, because I won't have to worry about the exact sound I'll be getting out of the synth until the final mixdown.

I'll try to keep these videos under two minutes.