no.14 ‘Tiny Pieces’ (demo version)

#14 in my make some music every day project. I had one half of the groove, and nothing more, for about two hours, wondering what to do with it. It seemed another chord might be a good idea. There was a much better melody to start with, but by the time I came to record it, I couldn’t quite remember it.

This is first time in ages I’ve played my bass guitar, should do it more often. Maybe this needs electric guitars, not acoustic. Too much piano.  Otherwise, I’m quite happy with this, a good combination of song and groove.

This is one I think I’ll go back to next week, and re-do the vocals. And the mix.

(When I do the vocals properly, I might try making a proper video to go with it. Maybe. you know, one that’s in sync and everything).


Song a day #9

I’ve been writing a song every day since 21st of October, with variable results. I have decided to carry on going, just for the hell of it. Plus it’s good practice.

This is the 9th piece (if I’m including yesterday’s piano improvisation) and it suffers from bad recording quality on the voice – the result of bad microphone placement, it won’t happen again. The lead guitar and double bass have come out ok.

The video ended up weird, the camera was playing up. The only complete ‘take’ was me playing the lead guitar, with the guitar mostly out of shot. Then the batteries went. So I did that more ‘experimental’ thing, which is probably better than what was planned.

In case you are wondering where Song-a-day 1-8 went to, I haven’t blogged them yet. but I will.


New Project – Doomed to Failure

I’ve had this crazy idea for a project. well, not crazy at all really. Next to where I work they’re throwing up a Premier Inn (cheap town-centre hotel sort of thing), and I thought ‘Why not take a photo every day, then stitch them all together in a time-lapse film?’  So I am doing.

Early mistake: Shooting from too low down, so I can’t properly see what’s going on. I’m now going up to 5 level of the multi-storey carpark to get the shots. Depending how high they build it – they might decide to stick a couple of extra floors on just for the hell of it – I might have to go to the very top of the carpark just to fit it all in.

Of course this sort of thing works best if all photos are taken from the same angle, which since I’m using a point-and-shoot without a tripod isn’t happening.  If this doesn’t look like a dog’s dinner when it’s finished, it’ll be up on Youtube eventually.

Prime Suspect: Obscured by Smoke

I’ve just seen Prime Suspect for the first time – yes, I know I’m nearly 20 years late – and it’s rather good isn’t it? One thing really stood out for me almost as much as the great acting, writing, etc – just how much everyone was smoking.

If the show is in any way accurate, every man in London (not just the police) is not only a sexist alcoholic, but they also smoke like a chimney. And all of the women are merely alcoholic chain-smokers.

Every scene is seen through a blue haze, if a character isn’t smoking at the start of the scene, they are by the end of it.

It’s interesting to see what dates a television show, at the time  you might have guessed the clothes, or the cars maybe. Probably not the cigarettes.

TV show about a talking dog… is quite good

I’ve found this seriously warped Australian TV show called ‘Wilfred’, which is about a man called Adam who sees his girlfriend’s dog as a man in a bad dog costume, where everyone else sees him as a dog.

Its a strange concept, but it works perfectly – Wilfred not only talks, swears (very strongly), and smokes dope, he is determined to get Adam in as much trouble as possible, when not bullying him into putting DVDs on or making cheese-based snacks, or climbing onto the roof in a rainstorm to retrieve his favourite tennis ball from out of the gutter.

The whole tone of it is weird, almost like something off the famously warped Chris Morris series ‘Jam’, but also quite juvenile and coarse when it needs to be. It is also rather funny. The Americans have re-made it, and I hear they’ve toned it down quite a bit, which is a shame.



I love this show. The acting is great, the stories are interesting , there is much sarcasm,  and – obviously – Hugh Laurie is in it. What’s not to love? (and isn’t that a horrible phrase?)

A friend at work is a serious House nut (he watched it all in about two days), so I got to watch season 6 less than a week after the DVD was released – Result!

Of course the sooner I finish the box set, the sooner I need to find something else to watch…

house 6

Too Much

I have too much stuff to do. I have far too much culture, my brain is clogged up and I can’t cope.

I’m just about keeping up with my music, I can hit play on iTunes and it all gets played about 10 times before the month is up, and I have 90 new Emusic downloads to listen to.

Books. Don’t talk to me about books. I have something in the region of 40 unopened books. I am in the middle of reading 3 (or maybe 4, not sure here) books, Don Quixote, Shock Doctrine, True History of the Kelly Gang, and something else I can’t quite remember at the moment. Don Quixote is about 1000 pages long – which is off-putting somehow. Only 600 pages to go.

DVDs? Don’t talk to me, etc. I have 3 House boxsets. The first DVD of Cosmos. Synecdoche, New York. And more, but I can’t even remember what any more.

I have no time left. I also need to do stuff like eat, wash, work, sleep, and I don’t see how I can fit it all in. I might have to stop eating, or something.

‘Ice Cream Girl’

The Lloyd Cole fan page on Facebook suggested we – the fans – film a cover and post it. So I did.

Recorded live in Ableton Live using ADK large-diaphragm condenser mic, and filmed using my Fuji camera in ‘movie’ mode. It was done in one take, I suppose I could have got a perfect take if i had spent all morning on it, but I wasn’t that bothered.

‘Genesis Of The Daleks’

I don’t remember seeing this the first time around, but I wasn’t quite 5 years old at the time, so that’s not entirely surprising. Although I do remember the credits changing to this weird tunnel when Tom Baker became the Doctor.

"Genesis Of The Daleks" has been voted the best Dr.Who story by fans. It’s pretty good. It keeps the traditional Dr.Who values of almost no budget, shockingly bad acting from the minor characters, sets that wobble and monsters that are genuinely scary.

Tom Baker plays the Doctor and I’d forgotten how good he was – he brings a slightly manic insanity to the role that you just couldn’t get with any other actor.

This story leans heavily on the ‘Daleks are like Nazis’ angle, even featuring appearance by Guy Siner who a decade later played a Nazi in the sitcom ‘Allo Allo’.

There is an awful lot of running up and down corridors, but that is to be expected.