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Tuesday, 10 April 2012


Uh oh, normal post headline alert! Double uh oh - boring/depressing intro! Triple uh oh - good stuff at the end!

I don't really feel like I've had any time off in the last few weeks, and it's caught up with me a bit - currently off work with what feels like an invisible lump in my throat, and a head that feels submerged. The good news is, the things that have kept me busy are/were fun and not horrible, and as such have swerved my 'dark' mood of the last post back to what I normally feel like, which is resolutely chipper. 

My band, Handsome Bastards, have been making the most of our drummer's return from uni, and we wrote and recorded a brand new song. The idea was to do a 'calling card', that incorporates all the stuff we usually do, but in one 'pop' song (ie it's only three and a half minutes long). We're probably going to call it 'Chuck Berry's New Sound', as it features lyrics and samples taken from the Back to the Future films (the title references a phone call made when Marty's playing guitar at the prom). It also features gang vocals, stoner riffs, pop punk 'wooah ooohs', industrial beats and grindingly heavy beatdowns. OH GOD SHIT YES! I'll post a link once it's mixed and online.

I managed to find the time to rework an old story, and post it in my usual crit group - it's been fun getting back into the editing frame of mind, and taking on board really useful constructive criticism. I'm also working on a pulp story that mixes noir with superheroics, but filtered through vigilante sci-fi. I just made that term up. I've also also started rewriting one of the stories that was on my melted memory stick, and so far I think I'm hitting all the beats, and it's not as tortuous as I thought it might be. It helps that I'm working on it whilst listening to 'Blue Bob' by David Lynch and John Neff. It's midnight lounge (I think I've just made that term up, too) mixed with industrialised blues, but not really heavy, just moody and atmospheric. In truth, it's not the most amazing album ever, but it is very cool and has plenty of wonky slide guitar solos and warped grizzly vocals which always get a thumbs up from me. Here're a couple of youtube vids - Mountains Falling is also available on the Mullholland Drive soundtrack, and I Cannot Do That is an example of the machine-blues sound that occasionally rears his ugly head throughout the album.

Ever since reading The Crow, and finding out James O'Barr liked to write with music on, I thought 'I don't know why I don't give that a go', so I used to spend my Sundays (this is when I was at school, so mid-90s) listening to the radio whilst hammering away at my Brother word processor (before that, I had an actual typewriter. I can't, for the life of me, remember what make it was, but it was grey and beautiful, and a birthday present off my parents, but I traded it in for the Brother (which belonged to my dad's boss), because that had a tiny two-line screen, and built in memory so I could save my stories as I worked on them). If it wasn't the radio, it was usually some metal band, or the Mortal Kombat soundtrack, or occasionally, Joy Division. 

As I got older, and my music taste mutated and developed (I'm not so fussed about metal any more)  I started listening to stuff that had more of a mood akin to the type of story I was writing, and midnight lounge music is perfect for this. I can often write with no music on, but generally I do like to have something going on in the background. It sends my housemate bananas some times, but that's because she has appalling taste in music. Haha!

I wanted to start linking to songs at the end of blog posts, like this chap does, but I don't have the means to do that, so maybe I'll just start linking to the youtube, because that's easy. So here's a couple of songs I really like, by bands I like to write to. Not in a pen-pal way.

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