Saturday, March 31, 2007

Then why can't I paint you...

A very kind friend of the Ink took snaps of last night's gig at the Barleycorn and you can see how handsome we are here. Steve, the photographer, also has a video podcast called houndTV about dogs which you can check out here.
The gig was a roaring success and as always I am grateful to our friends for showing up! The buttons were a big hit and I am still proudly wearing mine.
Most excitingly there is a live recording of the gig but my brother stole and refuses to return it as I didn't give him his birthday presents, which he left in my car, for three months. If it is any good there will definitely be a mail-order live album (titles?? John Barleycorn Must Live?) at a knockdown price...we know no other way. Unfortunately the mixer fell for my showbiz trickery about our last song and ended the recording before Silky's incediary take on He's A Whore.

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

How much is that bloggy in the window?

After speaking with David Sifry, the charismatic founder of Technorati this morning, I was inspired to check out how much the witty banter and incisive musical analysis on this blog would fetch on the open market.
Sifry was very enthusiastic, said 'neat' a lot and professed that he 'loves Melbourne in the fall.' Nice guy. Anyway, Squid Ink comes in at the princely sum of $1,129.08.
Maybe we oughta cash in now and use the money to record a real album. Who wants to take out the ad in the trading post? Not that it's entirely about the money, obviously. It's not like we're the Pixies or something. Incidentally, William Shatner's blog, in which he describes how he's recently been hanging out with Henry Rollins (one spoken word practitioner to another) is worth $64,357.56. In truth, I didn't think we'd be that close in value to Shatner. We must be going places.

My blog is worth $1,129.08.
How much is your blog worth?

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Stupid car

I intended to bring my bass rig along to rehearsal last night. I had just fitted a new set of strings on my dear Highway 1 and was dead keen to go all Jack Black on the Squid Ink posse with my groovy new strings and my Paddy Amp Sound.

Sadly all my flighty dreams crashed to earth — to solid rock, as UT would say — when the handle on the car broke. My speaker bin was sitting on the back seat and I could not get into the car.

“But Paddy, ” you helpfully point out, “surely you are simply able to enter the vehicle using the other door.” And you would be making a brilliant point if only the other door did not have a lock broken when the car was stolen last year.

The handle on one side is fine but the lock is broken. The lock on the other side is dodgy but eventually comes good but the handle is broken.

And my speaker bin is in the car.

And we have a gig in two day's time.

Mechanics claim that the sledgehammer is not an appropriate tool for car repair. I disagree.

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Black Wednesday

Hopes were running high for another celebrity endorsement ahead of Frday's gig when Silky-D was asked this morning to track down The Pixies for an interview for the venerable broadsheet. I had visions of not only getting Frank Black to wish us well at the Barleycorn but linking to the audio file so that the Squid Army could hear it for themselves. Hopes were crushed upon talking to Fiona from Michael Coppell's office, who said: 'Absolutely no. They don't do mainstream media.' I think this is kinda understandable but was kicking myself for not saying I was from the Squid Ink blog (what could be more indie than a band blog that has only three regular readers?). I pose to you this question, music fans, if they are too cool to associate with mainstream media what the hell are they doing hanging out with Michael Coppell? At least I can add being snubbed by black Francis to a long and distinguished list of career disappointments.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Silky-D has made plenty in his time but in odd and happy news it seems we are now headlining on friday. Having seen first hand the ways of the journalist I decided to put some of my empirical research into action. I called Mike "Quarters" Quartermain, drummer for the Seven Day Fools, and told him I was Patrick Donovan from the Age and keen to get the skinny (authentic journalistic term) on why the Seven Day Fools would not be headlining on Friday night.
Quarters said:
"I too thought that strange...not that Squid Ink aren't at all capable of rocking the house late. I'll speak to our booking agent/manager/publicist/producer/lead guitarist."
Quite an insight, I'm sure you will agree. seems we are on stage around 11pm.

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Monday, March 26, 2007

Squid Tubes

Equipment Update:
Amp is back with new valves. Happy times and a sweet tone. They also fixed the reverb and the "tremelo" (please note everyone other than Fender amp manufacturers knows this effect as phaser).
Oz Rock Update:
Nothing makes one more glad one does not play in an Oz Rock cover band than playing in an Oz Rock cover band for one day. Long live the Ink. I shall not take your pleasures lightly.

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

35 Minutes

Paddy is right, we have been rehearsing pretty bloody hard - honing our set list to a well-honed 35 minutes, with an optional mystery encore depending on audience demand. It's pretty honed.

Make sure you leave plenty of time for getting to the gig on Friday as Johnston Street is a major thoroughfare of the inner north and the traffic can get pretty bad. Speaking of traffic, had we more time and inclination we might consider a thematic cover for the night of Traffic's 1970 classic album John Barleycorn Must Die.

Traffic, like Squid Ink, had problems relating to a paucity of songwriters. Steve Winwood wrote pretty much all the hot stuff on JBMD and originally intended it as a solo album. However, like Modern Doug Park, he didn't enjoy recording alone and couldn't resist the lure of playing with the dudes (so to speak) so he welcomed back his bandmates to play on the record - subsuming his ego and making it a group project. What a guy.

It must be pointed out though that on track five Stranger to himself Steve plays all of the instruments (as well as singing). Here a comparison with Paddy seems more apt. But though a talented multi-instrumentalist, Paddy is these days first and foremost a bass man. Traffic's bass player was the great Rick Grech who later became an alcoholic carpet salesman and died tragically young. He has absolutely nothing to do with Crafty's drum kit, which is actually a Gretsch.

Rick Grech also played in Blind Faith with Winwood, Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker (speaking of drums). Silky-D copped shit from the dudes a while ago for accidentally referring to Ginger Baker as Ginger Rogers while discussing his baby-boomer dad's decision to join a Cream covers band, which was tentatively named Clotted Cream. Clotted Cream didn't work out as a name, because my dad's friends decided they wanted to cover other bands as well. One of the covers they are doing is Keep on Running by the Spencer Davis Group - which featured an up and coming young keyboardist called Steve Winwood, before he left to join Traffic.

Winwood, Clapton and Ginger Baker later all played on Blind Faith's famous Gothenburg 1969 bootleg album, which was released on the Moby Dick record label in July 1969. The label was obviously named for the classic 1851 seafaring novel by Herman Melville that is one of Silky-D's enduring faves and comes highly recommended if you like reading about knots, different types of boats and other engrossing stuff. But Silky D is much less fond of that modern Moby, the electro pop chrome dome who is so named because he is a direct descendant of Melville (actually Herman is his Great Great Grand Uncle according to Wikipedia).

On his most recent album, the tepid and underwhelming Hotel, Moby plays every single instrument, just as Steve Winwood did on "Stranger to Myself". But this isn't entirely true. Moby cheats. He doesn't play the drums. He aint no Ginger Baker. To make matters even more annoying, Moby also includes a secret hidden track - a practice that Silky-D despises because it stuffs up his Ipod playlist and because if something is good enough to be on the album then it ought to be on the bloody album, not hidden away like a dog-boy under the house.

Anyway, the name of the secret hidden track on Moby's "Hotel" is "35 Minutes." Coincidentally, 35 minutes is also the exact, scientifically measured, length of Squid Ink's rocking set, to be delivered at The Barleycorn next Friday. Don't miss it.

And the length of Traffic's classic album John Barleycorn Must Die is also - you guessed it - 35 minutes.

with apologies to Paddy, whose award nominated post I ripped off for this monster.

Water cooler conversation

Excitement around the city is starting to build. The talk about the water cooler is that Squid Ink's gig at the Barleycorn (177 Johnston St Collingwood) on the 30th of March is soon upon us.

We have been struggling like builder's labourers in the sunshine to improve the material for your Friday night rocking pleasure. The current issues we have been working on are:

  • Remembering the lyrics to Dead Pan
  • Counting the lengths of solos
  • Tempi
  • General on-stage feng shui
  • Accurately hitting the changes in Tyon
  • When we should play Industry
  • The papier mâché rocket ship that crashes into the stage during Mnemosyne
  • It's all NFGE

There will be a door prize for the audience member that looks most like Geoffrey Rush. Remember to eat heartily before the gig: do not attempt Squid Ink Rock on an empty stomach.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Shine on you crazy craftsman...

Crafty, you are a star. This band and this blog need your enthusiastic prose.
The fans need to know about your madcap adventures. And we must project a facade of togetherness if we are to keep the record industry suits onside.
You are loved and valued. Come on back to the blog.

Cute as a button

'Badge', said Eric Clapton and George Harrison and badges there shall be.
I have received a full measure and quote from my friendly local badgemaker Do Not Be Quiet. They are a refreshingly hard-ass political outfit who also promise "high quality 1 1/4" (35mm) buttons for wholesale and retail. The buttons are manufactured from top grade aluminium shell and pinback, with a high gloss plastic mylar coated laminate."
Personally, I think we are selling the band short if we go for anything less than top grade aluminium.
Unlike UT, who is practising for the Gold Coast Marathon, DNBQ "specialise in small runs" and offer custom design for any orders of more than 100. Price will be 85 cents per button. They throw in free design for orders larger than 100.

Or do we wanna unleash some artistic shit of our own?
Next stop bumper stickers.
'I fish squid and I vote' or 'Hinny on board'?

Monday, March 12, 2007

The set up

For some time now I've been whining like a bitch about how my guitar lacked playability and have been idly talking about getting it set up by a pro. Though it was always a triumph of style over substance, the maroon Danelectro had degenerated and, by early 2007, the action was so diabolical that one needed to deploy a series of clamps and vices in order to make the strings touch the fretboard up at the higher end of the register. On Saturday I decided to stop whinging and start doing. I took my weapon into Footscray's Troy House of Music store, where the lovely Cool-hand Luke set it up and handed it back hours later spit-shiny and with new strings.

After accepting my $100 he then informed me that my guitar was a heap of shit and that I'd be better off investing in a Fender Telecaster or even, God forbid, a Squire. Painful as it is to recount, testing bore out his theory. Though he looks like a fifty-something accountant, Luke dashed off some blazing metal solo-work - his fingers flying so dramatically and tone wailing so emotively that he attracted two junkies in from the street. They stood in awe and mutely took in his epic work. When the ice fiends moved closer and tried to touch him, Luke scared them away by snapping off the overdrive and switching into some cool jazz shit that would have torn even the great John McLaughlin a new one.

In a bemusing postscript, My dad rocked around to Silk Manor on Sunday for a bbq - toting the brand new Squire Tele he'd just impulse bought at Manny's that morning. He also picked up a new amp while he was there.

On Tuesday the reborn Danelectro gets it first big chance... if it can't step up to the plate, a trip to Manny's might loom in the future.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Back in rehearsal

Exciting times in Squid Town lately.

We have decided on an album title, we are toying with a playlist and even have started talking about stage costumes. What do the general populace think about yellow jumpsuits? Too Devo, you think? Nothing can be too Devo.

Rehearsal this week was a joy. It was our first after a long break what with Silky-D out of town and the energy was high and the rock was hot. As, indeed, was the rehearsal room — note to self: bring ice vests and sweat bands to rehearsal next week.

The thrilling addition to rehearsal was the music stand. It is now only a short step to adding a bassoon to the lineup and giving Crafty some timpani to play.

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

A New Hope

I am thrilled to announce that I have crakced the solo in Dead End Town and now only lyrics remain between us and the completion of the album. I was given a quick run through of some of Crafty's excellent ideas and I am excited.
What exites me even more is the prospect of an actual rehearsal this evening...I beleive the first of three before gig number 2.
This may also precipitate some vigorous blogging.

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