Upcoming AlKandAlC weekend (fingers crossed) and I Want a DS10!

January 28, 2009

Hello, the week’s gone so so so far (that is grammatically correct isn’t it?). Work is ebbing up and down. I’ve been givning the task of doing a preliminary lit. review for a new project/grant proposal my boss is thinking of submitting. Which is exciting in theory (lots of interesting research etc) but boring in practise (trying to find relevant lit. review). No doubt this will change by the end of the once I get a handle on the field.

I’m currently looking forward to the weekend! The Als and the Pussycats are playing the Cab this weekend. Which I have low expectations of. But because of this, I actually expect to be pleasantly surprised when I realise that we’re better than I give us/the rest of the band, credit for. Which will no doubt put me in a good mood. Not that I’m a bad mood just now. But you know.

Hopefully, Ali permitting, we’ll spend the weekend sorting out a set of duo material and making some progress on the album. Which i guess is about a 3rd done. Or nearly. Anyway, I want to keep it down to 40-45 minutes long which means we don’t have much to do as Sweet Moves, Stranger and Talk All Day are in pretty good shape. Add in the possibility of resurrecting the original Amy, with a new Jaco inspired fretless bass intro (I’ve got some new ideas, it’s just a matter of distilling them all into 30 seconds or so! Anyway, I think that will fit the vibe set up by the three tracks we’ve recorded so far. (Don’t) Come Look For Me will probably be on it too, as the token blues track, and I’m hoping to record a little ‘cello part for it. Then a couple of Trees, Car, Wolf, Sailor Song, She Cries, All Breaks Down, Who Needs Who, etc. Y’ know, Ali’s written a lot of good songs!

I made some good progress in learning Three of a Perfect Pair last night. No Cantor rehearsal tomorrow, (Matt’s birthday), but we should be back next week. 🙂

Amazon have Korg DS10′s back in stock! I really want one. Not sure if I can justify the money though. Not that it’s expensive by any means. Hmmm. Maybe it will provide the Pussycats with whatever it is I seem to think is missing. Or could be a secret weapon for Cantor. Hmmmmmm. Strokes beard.

Bread Blog 2

January 25, 2009


the other day we put the bread machine to great use and made a calzone:



Worked a treat! And there was some left for lunch the next day! It was even better than the pizza we made with Ali the week before!

And bread fans, yes, you!, currently, I am in the process of, making, can you tell I can hardly contain my excitment, no, me neither, anyway, currently, I am trying to make….. baps! For my lunch tomorrow! The world of bread is indeed an exciting one. I think i’ll buy some of the Wallace & Gromit branded flour next time I’m in Waitrose. 🙂

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Cantor: Taking the obvious step.

January 22, 2009

Well, this should be interesting. I guess it will be a good reality check for Cantor. Although, of course, if it doesn’t work, we will continue with the elitist arrogance, at least for a while longer. Cause it’s fun. And we’re better than you.*

So, anyway, on tonight’s menu, we will be by doing the obvious. Now you may ask, does doing the obvious not go against everything you pretend to believe in? Well, we would answer that question with a “yes, but…” with the but being we have a band with a Warr Guitar and two normal guitars, one of which is being enticed to play in NST. So of course we’re going to bloody well try and play a King Crimson song.

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January 18, 2009


the weekend is nearly over. Been a good weekend though. 🙂 Friday night I went to see Preston Reed with some friends. Which was good. The Lot is a lovely wee venue (I hope to play there one day), and it’s nice walking distance home. A couple of (expensive) beers, and some good chat from Matt and Doug. A nice evening 🙂

Oh, the day before was pretty exciting too. Had the first practise with Matt and Doug this year. Maybe that was why I enjoyed Friday so much. Anyway, the band is now called Cantor and has a myspace to boot. Yes, it’s kind of similar to my old old old uni rock band Cantus Cealestius (shout out to Moz, Justin, Rik and Dan), [It appears that Cantus now longer have an Internet presence. Oh for those heady days before Myspace!]

Anyway, I didn’t come up with the name Cantus, and I didn’t pick Cantor. Anyway, Cantor: set theory and the transfinite. Yes, naming your band after the guy who defined infinity is maybe a little bit too much, but I can’t see things getting any more sensible from here on in. We’ve already turned our back on drummers, at least for the time being: we think it is unlikely that we’ll find a drummer that we’d like anytime soon. We also think it is unlikely that we’d find a drummer who’d like us anytime soon too. So just giving up seemed a sensible suggestion. If you are reading this and you are a drummer (a good drummer, who doesn’t mind playing simply and who doesn’t mind playing complicatedly) then please get in touch. Ditto for keyboard/electronic people. As long as you don’t mind playing next to nothing sometimes.

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You read it here first! (and some gloom)

January 16, 2009

I was amused to read this article in today’s paper. I managed to beat Monbiot’s blog by a good 5 hours. I really am on the ball aren’t I. :p

I’m starting to think there’s little point worrying about global warming, etc. Waste of time. The fact that the debate has changed from trying to stop global warming to what to do about “climate change” shows that all those in power admit that we’re just going to have to put up and hope for the best.

I do my bit as best I can. I’m pretty sure not having a car is one of the best things an individual can do. Sure, I need to get a lift or a taxi from time to time (bass amps are heavy), but it’s only about once a month. The rest of the time it’s bus or walk. And in the summer, cycle. 🙂  Sure, the bus service to campus can be frustrating, but, well, that’s just life. And I switch the computer off at work when I’ve finished with it (nobody else seems to though).

You got to feel sorry for the Polar Bears though. And most the population of the  world. But the politicans have shown again that they don’t listen to the people. And mass movements/protests haven’t had any effect on anything in a long time. Make Poverty History didn’t really work did it? Nothing changed. I assume things are actually getting worse as all the Western Countries will be putting themselves first in the fight against the Credit Crunch.  Trillions spent on bailing out banks, but fuck all for the biosphere? Likewise, what did the protest about the Iraq war result in? Public opinion was pretty against the whole thing. It still happened, and Labour got back into power. And even if they hadn’t, the Tory’s, who also supported the war (more so than Labour) would of been the victors. The whole thing is pointless. Even a simple policy like switching to energy saving bulbs is attacked by dodgy science claims in the papers.

We may well achieve the CO2 targets for the next few years. But only cause of dodgy counting and a global recession. As soon as the economy recovers from the recession, it will be business as usual. I  guess I should start saving up for a croft in the highlands to hide out from the rest of the world.

And on that note, I think I’ll go back to just blogging about my oh so exciting musical life, along with the odd PhD, and social life update. Stupid world.

ps. I just noticed that WordPress’s spell checker doesn’t consider “blogging” to be a word. Kind of ironic eh.

At this rate I’m going to turn into a Tory

January 15, 2009

Not impressed. The Tory’s reply is interesting:

The Conservatives have pledged to block a third runway if they get in to power and replace the project with a high-speed rail line. The Tories plan to rush through a new aviation policy that would stop the construction of runways at Heathrow and Stansted.

However, I think I can be fairly confident in not believing a word of it, and it will be business as usual if and when Cameroon comes along. it’s one thing saying they oppose it now and let Labour take the flak, that way they’ll attract voters such as myself. But they’ll jsut forget about it all when they get into power.

Pleasant Surprise of 2009: Number 2

January 15, 2009

According to last.fm: “Your musical compatibility with louisa is Super”

Other good news is an AlKandAlC gig in Feb (TBC), James McMurtry gig in a couple of weeks, going to see Preston Reed tomorrow night, playing Rock Band last night after going for a nice meal, and making good progress on my PhD. And there should be some freshly made bread in the kitchen just in time for lunch!

Pleasant Surprise of 2009: Number 1

January 14, 2009

Well, not so much as a surprise. As I was saying to AliK, I like treat myself about twice a year by buying an album from the ECM label. I usually have a skim read of the reviews on amazon, and then impulse buy. And I haven’t been let down yet. So this week I will mainly be listening to Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin. Apparently they’re Swiss and  combines various musical styles from funk, new classical music to elements of Japanese ritual music. The insistent rhythms also suggest the minimalism of Steve Reich. Bärtsch has called their style “Zen-Funk”. (according to last.fm’s description at least).

They seem to have exactly the right blend of simmering grooves, minimalist repetition, simplicity, interesting stuff, melodic fragments, and a nice laid back feeling (they never explode in the intense way that E.S.T. did).

Shame ECM albums are expensive (they always seem to be over £12 on amazon) as I’d love to buy more of the back catalogue

Disappointment of 2009: Number 1 – UKZ

January 13, 2009

Ok, this isn’t really too much of a surprise, but I still had high hopes. UKZ are a new prog supergroup. With Trey Gunn on Warr guitar. But, hmmm. I think the most enthusiasm I can summon up is, “neat bass fill on the warr, oh cool, there’s a violin.” and Louisa’s comment “is this German?”  probably sums it up. Shame. Guess I was hoping the band would be pretty kick ass, provide me with lots of Warr ideas, and generally be good. But, looks like they won’t be a patch on Crimson or Porcupine Tree. Shame.

AlKandAlC and the story of the Christmas Tree

January 12, 2009


We had a nice Christmas Tree

We had a nice Christmas Tree

Sadly, one night it attacked Louisa

Sadly, one night it attacked Louisa

Luckily, AlK was to hand. So AlC and AlK put on their saftey hats and knocked the tree over

Luckily, AlK was to hand. So AlC and AlK put on their saftey hats and knocked the tree over

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