Saturday, December 29, 2007
Every saga has a beginning..........
In 1991, my last year of school, I was the King of the Sixth Form Common Room, Sovereign of the Stoneheads and Joint Roller Extraordinaire. With my trusty guitar I regaled the room with my amusing ditties, but danger loomed upon the horizon. A whole host of long haired, guitar wielding, ditty singing clones were threatening to steal my crown, and I could not let that happen.
An album, a whole album, let them compete with that! I had just got my first four track and had discovered the pitch knob, indeed, Hickory Violet is a homage to the pitch knob (as well as Smiley Smile and Sid Barrett)
So here it is, my Surfin Safari, and knowing how the trilogy ends makes it all the more poignant. I would recommend listening to all three albums back to back if you have a spare three hours. Compare Lord of the Drugs to Space Rocket and hear how it all comes full circle. This album was recorded before it all went horribly wrong, but the hints are there.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
I am soon to be uploading the first album in the trilogy. After that I am considering four areas to catalogue.
1. The Acid Tapes. For each album in the trilogy there is a corresponding triptape. That's not to say I only took acid three times - oh no - but I did record three of my trips, each one markedly different, and each having a direct bearing on the album that followed. I am considering editing and uploading these as partners to their respective album in the trilogy.
2. Goodnight Eyeball. Before The Wrong Button, this was the original follow up to Listen To My Toes. A four movement experimental symphony boasting 99 tracks, it was never finished due to a mental breakdown. The first 10 or so tracks are finished, but I never joined all the bits together. There are also a lot of unfinished sections I am considering putting a suite together into a listenable order.
3. Trilogy outtakes and bonus tracks. There's a lot of this, and some interesting stuff.
4. Very early stuff. I'm considering calling this Treasures That Should Be Buried. There are some absolute gems.
Please vote in my poll, and let me know what you would like to hear. Please note there is no button for new stuff. It exists, some recorded but most in my head. Nothing for now but maybe in a few years.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Here is the second installment of my musical trilogy, Listen To My Toes. I offer no explanation, as I prefer to let the album speak for itself. And speak it does. Like a fly caught in a can of Fosters, I have captured my 21 year old self, in all his student hating, dope smoking, telly watching. student hating, mirth making, taboo breaking, student hating splendour. It's even got gnomes in it (pyschologically they represent......, oh, I'll let you work it out)
So settle back, take your cue from the opening seconds and light up a fattie, it may make the next 74 minutes slightly more accessable. No, I make no apologies. Without this album there would be no Wrong Button, indeed, the Wrong Button follows on from Toes both musically, lyrically and literally. This is still my finest hour and proudest moment. Everything was alright as long as I didn't leave the house. I was, and ever will be, a legend in my own room. Forever the sesh goes on.
So now, after nearly 14 years, I invite the world to Listen To My Toes.
I have been alerted to the fact there are no track lisings in the file, so here are the track listings.
1) The Strangest Dream
2) Listen To My Toes
3) Vanilla Flavoured Shoes
4) There You Go Again
5) Crackle Crackle, Love That Noise
6) Domestic Violence
7) Histroy Repeating Itself
8) Ode To Clipper
9) Frank Butcher
10) Country Sounds
11) Would You Still Love Me
12) Fairytale Abstractions
13) Talking To Tarquin
14) The Music Police
15) Thermonucleur Underwear
16) Gallant Great and Golden Green Eyed God
17) The Trouble With Cupid
18) Stoned Trek
19) Rat Tat Tat, Sound
20) The Archeologist Song
21) Minor Adjustments To Ypur Mind
22) And It Goes Like This
23) Unhealthy Despair
25) Doing The Wiggly Wormy
26) Gary Parry RIP
27) Pipe Concerto Mvmt 1
28) Pipe Concerto Mvmt 2
29) If You Discover Your Shoes Don't Fit
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Here is my album "The Wrong Button" which I am making available for the first time since its' completion three years ago. That is not to say it hasn't been heard by anyone, indeed, Darian Sahanaja, (Brian Wilson Band member and the man responsible for getting Brian to finish SMiLE) said it was one of the best things he had heard for years, which I took as high praise coming from someone who has access to The Beach Boys tape vaults. Nelson Bragg and Probyn Gregory were equally enthused. I had also put three songs on the Garageband site, and "Talking To Myself" had reached the top five of their chart. All of a sudden I was recieving many emails requesting a copy of the album.
So what happened?
I was offered a record contract, which turned out to be a tad dodgy so I didn't sign. Also my wife had just fallen pregnant and I lost my job. In desperation I sent a barrage of emails to Darian and Nelson, demanding they help me out. Suffice to say they stopped responding. Now I could say I lost my faith in my album at that point, and there would be some truth there, but to be honest I am one of lifes great procrastinators, and I missed my moment.
So here finally is "The Wrong Button", the third part in a trilogy of albums which take a comical look at the effects of marujuana and LSD on a fragile mind. I will release the entire trilogy in reverse, what can I say, I am a child of George Lucas (not literally).
If the album proves successful, (i.e. more than ten downloads!), I will gladly write more about the history and multiple meanings in my teenage symphony to drugs, but for now a little background will suffice.
"The Wrong Button" took seven years, off and on to record. The bulk of the album was recorded in my home on a Roland VS840 8 track recorder, a seriously cranky old digital machine which ran on Zip Disks. I had no preamps or anything like that, so I had to be quite creative with my recording techniques. How I hate working with digital sound, bring back tape.
The album documents my final, horrific LSD trip, alone in a house in the Yorkshire Dales on, believe it or not, September the 11th 1996. (I was convinced for a time that I had sent my bum vibe five years into the future, but I'm feeling much better now) In all seriousness it was the most terrifyingly dark experience of my life, all alone with only my trusty dictaphone as a companion, and it is these recordings which form the backbone of "The Wrong Button".
Music wise, my biggest musical influence on this and all my recordings, is the music of Brian Wilson, in particular, SMiLE. I have been listening to this wonderful music since 1988, back when I was 16. This was a time when it was seriously uncool to like The Beach Boys, but I have turned so many people onto his music and like to think I played a small part in his rediscovery during the nineties.
Anyway, it's time to laugh with me, cry with me, and nearly die with me. Download if you dare...............
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
There are five aspects to tonal music. Melody, Harmony, Rhythm, Counterpoint and Structure.
Now, a piece of music does not need to contain all five aspects, a solo melody or a rhythm tapped absent mindedly on a table can be called music. Why, even an Oasis record is music! Music does not need harmony to be music, much so called dance music does away with melody altother, and counterpoint is sorely lacking in most modern (last 50 years) music. The one aspect that music needs, to be considered music is Structure. Structure is what turns random noise into groovy sounds. Now I bet you didn't know that did you? Well you do now.
Please don't be late for my next lesson, "Naught but the Sound of Numbers" in which I enlighten you to the fact that music is mathamatics, and I will attempt to prove that judging music to be good or bad is objective not subjective, i.e. opinion is worthless, there is only right and wrong.
Thank you, Stephen