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|Tuesday, January 31st, 2012|
|First Month Lips...
One of the things I wanted to do this year is focus more on my First Kiss Lips blaug
. I had been letting it slip so on New Year's I resolved to post every day this month to get back in the swing of things, and look at that! 34 posts this month. It was also important to start the new year strong so I finally got around to posting about Devant
, and also to end this month with something really great so today I posted about Even As We Speak
, my favourite Sarah Records band (what's yours?) There are plenty of blogs where you can grab lots of cool out-of-print stuff and I really appreciate those, but I like to think of my blaug like when you're hanging out at your friend's house late at night playing each other stuff the other "just has to hear!" My goal is to have 183 posts by the time First Kiss Lips is 1 year old (to be one every other day), and this looks very doable (
much like me in a mesh half-shirt
|Sunday, January 29th, 2012|
|Trad Jazz (Slight Return)...
I was drinking a (wine-size) bottle of organic carrot juice at a party last night. It reminded me of the experimental humour of my youth. Tickled orange with this.
|Monday, November 21st, 2011|
|when I'd still say the Mary Chain before Saint Etienne...
Just found this interview with me from April 2003
. Will you be doing any shows in the UK in the future?
I’m planning on moving to London for a few months in the fall. I’ve always wanted to live there and I know if I don’t do it soon I never will. London is my favourite city in the world and I’ve had such a great time the few times I’ve been there. I want to play as much as I can while I’m there and I’ve been talking to people about setting up some shows. Hopefully I’ll get to do a few with Fosca.
All I can say is WOW. I never could've imagined all this. I played 1 London gig that fall (and 1 in Frankfurt), it was with Fosca : )
|Friday, July 15th, 2011|
|playing music is lovely...
I've been in a rotten mood the past few days, and my thoughts have been such that when I saw the full strangeness of the moon last night, I wondered if that had anything to do with it. But David Barnett's gig was excellent! Cheered me right up. A couple I hadn't heard before, that "Favourite Pop Star" song is AWESOME. I was actually surprised when David said it was time to introduce some of his 'show-biz chums' and I happened to be one of them. It felt really good to get up and play music with my friends. Haven't listened back yet but I thought the songs sounded pretty good too.
Doing "Slag To Love" again tonight at The Miller for an Aug & The Family Stone gig
. Some different songs from last time. Should be good.
|Friday, July 8th, 2011|
I keep thinking of tons of stuff I'd like to post about but never finding the time. Such as a really fun story of Alex Paynter coming over to watch some League of Gentlemen the other night. Or a very bizarre dream 2 nights ago about an expedition to Ethiopia. But perhaps these are better told in person.
For now I've finally released the FREE H Bird EP
. Please don't pay for it. It was a radio session that never happened. New version of Danger Makers, a cover of Lifestyle's "Are You Coming On To Me?" (I'm very proud of this, except for one half-beat, the guitar is live one-take, complete with EVH solo), and "A Millionairess In A Ruby Ring", technically an AUNTIE song but also known as Theme From The Oxford Dons.
Speaking of which, I typed up my notes for the Moneypenny film which is Johnson reading from his autobiography, "I Was A Sexed-Up West African Mercenary". Very surreal, very pleased.
And a piece I wrote on Action Biker
is now up. Lovely Swedish synthpop.
|Wednesday, June 15th, 2011|
|"...others in pensive, soft close-ups - from which the original fog-silvered wool was sheared."*
Been meaning to update forever - trip to America, a lovely day in Moscow Road - but so much else going on and tons of computer trouble, hopefully now fixed. Will hopefully get back to those.
We put out The Soft Close-Ups album, "In Retrospect", on Monday. You can GET IT HERE
, pay-what-you-like or FREE (just type in 0). I'm really pleased with it. Those songs are lovely and the mastering makes them sounds really nice. If you've got the old versions, please replace them with these new ones, they sound so much better.
And I made 3 videos, starring a few of my attractive female friends:
PLEASE SHARE : )
* "Gravity's Rainbow", Thomas Pynchon, p. 184
|Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011|
|the first appearance of a helmeted figure...
After all that
already today, I arrived at Horry's at 9:50. And at 12.25 walked out with a disc of the finished Beekeeper. I was so exhausted that for the last hour I had to lie down on the floor behind him in what little space wasn't taken up with Dr. Who paraphernalia. I put McAlmont & Butler's "Yes" on my ipod and then decided some Shostakovich would be nice. And wound up listening to what my ipod bills as "Cello Concerto No. 1 in R Flat, Op. 107". R Flat, rather fitting for the night The Beekeeper was completed. It's really good, I'm really pleased with it. Steve's done a great job and, seeing it, I like the story a lot too. I'm glad Steve is patient enough to add all my little jokes that perhaps only Kate Dornan might get. It shall, fingers crossed, be out on Wednesday. Which is also the night I've been looking forward to most this year, the Dodgem Logic night.
I've been going for 19 hours straight. My skin feels like it's crawling with insects. Time for bed.
|Monday, April 25th, 2011|
|a lovely weekend...
So that was one of the best birthdays I've ever had. Much better than being horribly ill and alone in your bed, I'm glad I was able to attend this year.
Starting Friday evening as I was waiting for Soph to come over to go to Stay Beautiful, I was in a very calm state and taking out my acoustic guitar, wrote a very beautiful piece of music. I absolutely LOVE it. It feels like something that expresses everything about my life, like the music I've always wanted to make. It's a bit like if Suede were covering "Only You".
SB was just okay. It was too hot and felt too much like trying to recapture something that wasn't there anymore. Glad I stayed a bit longer cause Jenna's set made me feel better about it, reminding me yet again how "Love Your Money" is just a pure blast of pop originality and "Search & Destroy" had Sarll and I pointing across the room at one another intensely singing "world's forgotten boy" each time, for reasons that are unclear but it seemed the thing to do.
My requests for "Hold Back The Rain" went unheeded. Which was very disappointing. Esp. as it wasn't played at the very last SB either. And it was the song, when I first started going in 2005, that made me realize how great a night SB was. It's the album track that everybody knows and loves and knows is at least as great as any of the singles, being of the best songs EVER, and it's great when DJs are aware of songs like that because it means you don't have to listen to the same old singles that you have to hear again and again and again. One of the reasons I really liked Black Plastic from the get-go was that Jo took my advice and played "Fine Time". I've never understood why every club ever isn't playing this song. IT'S ONE OF THE BEST SOUNDING SONGS IN EXISTENCE. And it MAKES YOU DANCE. As Seth Hatfield once said, "Always sounding like it was recorded 2 weeks in the future", no matter when you listen to it.
Still it was nice to catch up with Leo. And then Saturday we went to see "The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec" which I really enjoyed. A bit like "Amelie" meets "Raiders Of The Lost Ark". I really like the comic and love the artist - Tardi
. Then to St. Moritz, the Swiss restaurant in Soho that I've been wanting to try. We were very tired but the food was excellent. Especially the chocolate fondue pot for dessert with a big plate of fruit and biscuits to dip.
And yesterday was just lovely. Thanks everybody for coming to the picnic. My friends are all really ace. I got up, recorded a demo of that lovely piece of music I had written, sent it off to David Shah. Then I opened my box of gifts that had arrived during the week and I had the patience/good sense to save. My mom had just awesomely told me to get what I wanted from Amazon. So the haul was:
Not Going Out Series Four
Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle
Stewart Lee - "How I Escaped My Certain Fate"
OSS 117: Cairo Nest of Spies
OSS 117: Lost In Rio
Tintin and the Mystery Of The Golden Fleece
Tintin and the Blue Oranges
"The Yellow M" (first of the Blake & Mortimer comics)
Then a really nice picnic in Finsbury Park. So many people came, it was lovely. Soph made me a "ROCK STONE" cake. Afterwards it was just like the old days, wandering around that area with Duncan, Nicky and Alex, to a nice dinner at The Noble.
|Thursday, April 21st, 2011|
|my new career as a French Czech New Wavist...
Except for not getting to see my Soph, I wish all days could be like this. I woke up, recorded, met Horry to discuss The Beekeeper (which is going to be really awesome), recorded a new song with Kate, shot J Bev's last scenes for the 'Fireworks' video, then went to see Pris at The Monarch. WHO WERE AMAZING! Very raw, energetic. Stayed a lot longer than I thought, running into the Quirk and hanging out with Pris' entourage. Received two AWESOME Avril books in the post, "Paris Tokyo New York Bruxelles" and "Art". And once again picked up Jim Dodge's "Not Fade Away", having got distracted halfway through it last summer, and it is incredibly good.
|Monday, March 28th, 2011|
|kissing to be clever...
Things continue to be very good. Excellent weekend. After seeing the lovely Soph, I went to an amazing gig in Herne Hill. Then raced up to King's Cross to see Shrag DJ at Scared To Dance. Then to a fun housewarming party where I realized I should probably learn more than my own songs on acoustic guitar. And inspired by the brilliance of the gig I saw the night before, I finally started my own music blog
, something I've been meaning to do for ages. Then a nice picnic in the park before heading to The Park Tavern and winning £3 on the quiz machine. Also got to chat with my friend Jim back home on Saturday, always nice, and finally got through to my family on holiday in Florida yesterday, where Fitts and I talked A LOT (as usual) about Van Halen, and I learned further distressing news.
And today, well, I just got a message back from Tyson Meade, the singer of The Chainsaw Kittens! Eeekk!! I loved that band since seeing the "Connie I've Found The Door" video on 120 Minutes back in 1992. On Friday night I was lamenting the fact that, even with the internet, I couldn't find his first solo album, "Motorcycle Childhood" ANYWHERE! So now with the internet, I found him on Facebook and sent him a message. And he just wrote back. Exciting.
Here's that video:
|Friday, March 18th, 2011|
|THE WET PATCH...
David Barnett & my Eiscafe song is finally up!!!
Very exciting. Go on, grab it, it's free if you type in 0.
I'm very very pleased with this. It took FOREVER for me to get done. And it turned out not really needing all that much, just the right things. And when Danny Gold pointed out that it was very Kinks-y, and I finally just listened to The Kinks again, I felt a whole lot better about it. Where would us Boston musicians be without Danny Gold?
But this is really all David. I just sent him that riff and the chords. The melody, words and most importantly the story are all his and what really make it. We were convinced us doing a song together would just end up sounding like Suede. But it's more Pulp ; )
When there are enough Eiscafe songs, I want to do a gig with everybody. Ian already said he would book us for How Does It Feel? Which is awesome. "Slag" will be really fun to do live.
|Tuesday, March 15th, 2011|
An AWESOME post on Eiscafe
from The Devil Has The Best Tuna. Nice to see both songs there too, as "Quitting You Is Harder Than Candy" has been getting most of the attention. "Slag To Love" coming very soon, I promise. And "Coffee & TV" as a title, strange, I've been thinking about Blur a ton today, since Rob "Tennis" Britton posted about "Popscene".
|Sunday, March 6th, 2011|
|auntie dearest (untie a red seat)...
In case you missed it on all the other social networking sites ; ), the AUNTIE single is now ready
Free if you want it (just type in 0), or pay-what-you-want.
I really think it's one of the best things I've ever done. Mr Solo sings "Forever, Forensic & Too Few" and Dave Goolkasian of The Elevator Drops sings the two versions of "Boulevards In Blume". François Avril drew the cover. Ian Catt recorded it.
|Thursday, February 10th, 2011|
Eiscafe mentioned on Off The Radar
Taking a break to let my hand recover from recording David Barnett and my pop masterpiece, "Slag To Love". Trying to have it ready by, appropriately, Valentine's Day. I was serious when I posted on Facebook that I feel like High Grant from "Music & Lyrics". Esp. the montage scene. Trying not to make it too synthpop as it's great as it is.
And yesterday major work done on "Boulevards In Blume", possibly the best thing I've done. Featuring one of my favourite singers, Dave Goolkasian. And the song that will pair with it on the double A-side will feature Mikey Georgeson, another of my favourite singers. It is going to be ace.
|Sunday, February 6th, 2011|
|the laziest post ever...
just copying & pasting from facebook, but this dream seems worth preserving:
had a dream last night where Keith Totp gave me a small horse that I kept in my flat. I never remembered to feed it but luckily there turned out to be a Horse Vet on Holloway Road.
It was quite small, like a large dog (but seemed different from a pony). It stood stock-still right next my bookcase near the door. At one point Soph yelled at me, "Couldn't you just get a broom and try to feed it that?"
I was constantly very worried it had died, I hadn't given it any water either. When I finally remembered to, I put the bowl under its nose and it walked a couple of paces away. I was very relieved. This was after the vet had asked me about giving it water, and I lied as I had completely forgot to do so and said "I assumed it would just drink out of the toilet whenever it got thirsty".
Oh dear. I had also taken in a lodger, who may or may not have been Gabe from the American Office. He was very concerned because I "hadn't told him there would be horses living here" when I took him in.
|Thursday, February 3rd, 2011|
|"I'm so much like me..."
I'm quite possibly elated right now. Been trying to find old Lifestyle footage forever. Remembered a video we did for a TV show for Mass Com. They had sent us a VHS copy of it in 2002 (when we made it) but no one knows what happened to that. Going through my old emails, in Eudora no less, I actually found one from the guy who set it all up. Unbelievably there was a number at the bottom. Even more unbelievably when I phoned it, it wasn't to the school or anything, it was still his cell phone!!
(6 rings) "Hi, Adrian? This is Aug Stone, I used to play in a band called Lifestyle about 8 years ago..." "Oh hey man, how's it going?"
He remembered me! And couldn't have been friendlier. Recognizing how hard it might be to locate such a thing he said he'd give it his best shot. Oh man, I hope this happens. I'm pretty sure I was still sporting the red mohawk. I'd be willing to put money on that the black boa is featured.
I remember the shoot being cold. It was March and we had to be there for 10 a.m. on a Sunday morning. Lifestyle already had a heavy schedule on and we were all tired and ill. It was supposed to be for a TV show so we just went in and played live a few times I think. We got a VHS a few months as the head of the place was bummed out that he missed us and had gotten (student) actors and put in his own plot line, augmented by us playing. They even did an edit of the song!
Please let this happen.
|Thursday, January 20th, 2011|
|"the first 5 years I knew you I thought you were on painkillers"...
So the first Eiscafe song is up
. Free if you want it, just type in 0 in the price bar. It's a Mary Chain-esque duet between me and Liz Enthusiasm from Freezepop.
I've been meaning to write about the Eiscafe project, and since I'm stuck at Kennedy airport for another 2 1/2 hours, I might as well now.
About a month ago I (half-jokingly) posted on Facebook that since I had about 100 demos, perhaps I should release 10 albums in 2011. (been listening to a ton of John Frusciante lately, who released 6 albums in 2004) Simon Drowner commented that perhaps I could write 4 more and release a single, A & B-sides, a week, 104 songs in all. Within 5 minutes of thinking about it, I realized this was a worthy plan to pursue. It would force me to work harder on music, and even if I fail, a heck of a lot of songs would get out there. Problem being that I have quite a few of these songs earmarked for other projects I already have in mind. And, as I've been saying for years, I want to find other people to sing them, as my vocal melodies all tend to sound the same. A & B-side would be a hell of a lot to get ready each week. But 1 song a week definitely seemed doable. And a lot of people said they'd be interested in collaborating. (If we've talked about this, don't worry, some music will find its way to you soon) Perhaps I spoke too early or gave a wrong impression as to the 'completeness' of the demos, a lot of them need adding to, but again, this will force me to WORK (which I really want to do). It will be a great purge and hopefully working so much will inspire a heck of a lot more.
Since the idea was suggested only about 2 weeks before the new year, and I was leaving my recording equipment to go the States for the first 3 weeks of that year, it seemed things would have to be delayed. But then I thought, they might not have to be. I remembered a song I wrote years ago called "Quitting You Is Harder Than Candy", which I stole off Vanessa's livejournal a long time ago (2003, 2004). And couldn't stop singing it to myself the whole way to New York. I had the idea to duet with Jussi on it back when I wrote it (had to re-write some of the lyrics that I'd forgotten) so I thought, no need to delay, maybe I could go to Boston and Sean could record it and Jussi would sing on it. And that's what happened.
Racing to get back to Connecticut before the blizzard (seriously, 18 inches of snow) last Tuesday, we got the majority of it done in an hour and a half. Once I started to learn how stuff works years ago, I realized just how easy it must've been to make all those Mary Chain records that I loved (not that that takes anything away from their power, it was just surprising). And Sean really knows what he's doing and is FAST.
So yes, I'm superpleased. It sounds great. (I'm also very tired right now so I hope this is coherent). Before I went to Boston as well, Kate sent me a demo of the music I sent her, "Apricot Lipstick", and it's going to be SUPERRAD and lovely. Steve apparently has his lyrics written as well. So I'm confident I can catch up soon so it will be 1 song a week. (Though again further delays as I just upgraded to Snow Leopard without buying the new DP first and found out the hard way last night when I was trying to record a new idea that the version of DP I have doesn't work at all. So a slight snafu, hopefully get the new one tomorrow.) Oh yeah, during all this, I was trying to finish another song, just to have something for a week, called "Busy Signals", which I like, but couldn't get it done.
It was lovely being home. And the time just flew by. Started work on a Dentists script for my Occult Dentistry idea. And have been reading Anthony Kiedis' autobiography, which is very enjoyable. But I really tried to focus on spending time with the people I love and don't get to see that often and it was great but man how I wish I had more of it.
Oh yes, on re-reading, the name Eiscafe, a word I really like, and there's a Soft Close-Ups song called Eiscafe as well, but I thought it would be a good thing to call such a project as my German teacher explained to me that an Eiscafe was like an ice cream parlour where youths go to meet and hang out, it's a social thing, so kinda fitting for a project bringing different people together. Of course, once the darker songs start coming out it might bring a completely different feel.
And I just completely did a double-take when already "Quitting You Is Harder Than Candy" is the 5th Most Viewed on the Corporate Records site.
|Monday, December 6th, 2010|
The H Bird record, though not officially "out" until January 10th is now available to buy at:Corporate Records
I would recommend buying it here. You can also listen to all the songs for free full-length previews on the site.the U.S. iTunes store
. (if anyone can grab me the UK or other country's iTunes links, that'd be much appreciated)UK AmazonUS Amazon
It should be on Napster too.
I'd really appreciate it if you could help spread the word!! Point peeps to the Corporate page to hear it
and heart it
|Monday, November 29th, 2010|
|"You're so gay, I bet you don't even like boys..."
Soph and I went to Windsor on Saturday to see Devant at the Firestation. A fantastic evening despite my being exhausted and having a headache. But a few songs in, as always with excellent music, all that went away and things got awesome. A documentary on Ivor Cutler and "Heavy Metal Parking Lot" were the "opening acts", neither of which I had ever seen. It was seated, sort of like a TV studio. It was Soph's first time and I was convinced she'd like it if for nothing else than The Vessel's outfit. But it was quite different to how I've seen them before and we both thought it was really amazing. It has been commented on Facebook that the setting itself had something to do with it. But also there were slideshows for each song which were quite cool, with The Vessel draping his cape over or kneeling in front of the projector when it went back to being a computer. They opened with a new song, "The Weatherman Got It Wrong", which was very good as were the other 2 new ones, "Cut Out And Keep" and one more whose name I can't recall. Shows promise for the new album. Apparently they were having technical difficulties but aside from Foz?s guitar not being on, one really couldn't tell. They even went so far as to do the whole ending of "Dangerous Dilettante" again. I was a bit baffled by this as it seemed fine, but then it was pretty awesome as if the song itself just could not be stopped. Got to hear "Radar" which I don't think I've ever seen live and they ended with a completely live version of "I'm Not Even Going To Try" (sans programmed synth) which included such wonderful lines when Vessel freestyles as the repeated "My milkshake's better than your milkshake...I'm stuck in the past, I'm stuck in the past" over and over again. And then to the tune of "You're So Vain" - "You're so gay, I bet you don't even like boys". Ace. The encore was Cookie/Miscellaneous/About It/I'm Not Even Going To Try. Amazing. During Miscalleneous there was also a bit of spontaneously choreographed kicking from Vessel and Foz?. Really looking forward to the December gig, hope the 100 Club stays open til then.
Finished Theodore Roszak's "Flicker" recently which Per recommended to me when we were talking about "Illuminatus!", "sort of an Illumatus! of the film industry, perhaps not as well written as 'Foucault's Pendulum' but I still like it" he said. Well, I thought it was better than "Foucault's Pendulum" but there were times the writing dragged in the same way - stuck in the past tense, "and this happened then this happened then this happened". But the story was good, holding my interest to the point of obsessing at points, and I do miss it now it's gone - the sign of a good book. I was a bit surprised that with the Black Bird being a symbol of the secret organization - The Orphans Of The Storm - that it wasn't mentioned about the raven that Noah sent out from the ark before the dove which never returned.
I am now onto Svetislav Basara's "The Cyclist Conspiracy" (though I much prefer the original translated title "Fuss About Cyclists). Described as the Serbian "Gravity's Rainbow", thankfully it's nowhere near that in length or denseness. But it's been pretty awesome so far.
Very sad about Leslie Nielsen. Very funny man. "Nightcap?" "No thank you, never wear 'em." One of my favourite lines (from one of the Naked Guns). Rhodri posted this which I hadn't seen before and think is excellent:
|Thursday, November 11th, 2010|
|forever in my dreams...
i had a dream last night in which featured the joke "What's an eskimo?"
and the answer, which everyone besides myself seemed to get, was "Pulp".
this joke was repeated in a lot of articles and i had come across some that mentioned 2 early pulp songs, with sample clips of them. one of them was absolutely brilliant. it was called "the periodic table" and the clip (though there might've been more to it) had jarvis simply reading the periodic table in order (i seem to recall "barium" in there). it was also pointed out that this was later covered by nitzer ebb. which sounded a lot like, well, nitzer ebb. the other song was in my head too when i first woke up but it's gone now.
i was also convinced in my halfsleep this morning that i was going into the studio today to sing on "elevator to heaven" but that i would continually lose my voice on the 2nd line. i don't have to do this. but i am hoping to finish the backing track to the h bird version of "are you coming on to me?" today.