Friday, June 29, 2007

Yes. I wish I would stop it

My beautiful speaker driver — lovingly rebuilt only last year by Australia's leading speaker repair specialist — may have been ruined last night when the odour of my burning coil filled the rehearsal room.

In what has proven to be a bit of a mistake I had borrowed Crafty's amp as my old and crappy Laney head had a loose plug or something and needed a little bit of repair. The Laney has given me difficulties in the past and while a loose plug is not what an experienced technician would call a tough job to repair I see it more as the latest in a string of disappointments than as the ultimate relationship-breaker.

And so I am contemplating using the Laney perhaps as an artistic installation: I want to explore the idea of stage equipment as places to put potplants on. Certainly not as a reliable way of getting people to hear what I play on a bass guitar.

But, as I say, I wasn't using the Laney last night. I had borrowed Crafty's amp: he drums these days but back when he was a bright-eyed, slim, handsome young man he preferred the bass guitar. In only one of a number of things that made last night's rehearsal unpleasant (others included an uninspiring halal pizza and having it driven home, as you can read below, just how bad we sound without one of our guitarists) my bass cab fried. The amp must have had too much juice for the box and there are absolutely no lewd plays on words that could be made from that sentence.

When we played at the Empress last year the screws pulled out of the chipboard of the speaker cab as we were loading our gear on stage, the driver fell out and I had to borrow a bass rig.

When we played at the Barleycorn a few months ago my speaker cab was irretrievably locked in the old Falcon and I had to borrow a bass rig.

Looks like I'm going shopping this weekend: We are playing at the Barleycorn in a few weeks and I don't want to have to borrow a bass rig.

I don't care what it sounds like. I just want the bloody thing to work.

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Silky Come Home

In a frankly careerist move Silky ditched rehearsal in favour of chasing the capitalist dollar. Or, possibly, he is an exploited worker whose blood was spent last night oiling the wheels and cogs of the capitalist machine when that blood should have been sprayed from his strumming fingers as they impacted with tightly wound strings.
Sadly, work called and the band sucked as a result. Forlorn was the mood and empty was the sound. Riffs only half complete and a reminder of how ordinary was the material from previous bands, was all we could take away from a night spent like a three-legged dog in room 8 of Castle Midian.
Paddy destroyed another bass bin...or bass amp...or some nearby circuitry...I'm not really sure...I am sure that I wish he would stop it...and I am even more sure that he wishes he would stop it too. In an unusually expansive mood he said "I might buy a combo".

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Rock 'n' Roll Sisterhood

Every good band should have a sister band. Friendly support for a rival combo is an important part of rock mythology and not one we intend to miss out on. I'm still waiting to hear whether Bachman Turner Overdrive or my one-time during the 90s favourite band, Canadian popettes Sloan, respond to my email entreaties. In the meantime, another - perhaps more realistic - candidate is the extremely good Ships and Thieves. They play this Friday at the Brunswick Hotel on Sydney Road. That's in Brunswick. What's more, IT'S FREE. And they really are quite good indeed. Almost as handsome as the men of Squid Ink. We heartily recommend them to all supporters of this blog. Maybe when we finally rent that Chateau in the south of France to record our album they can stop by to lay down some hot shit.

Caustic Acrostic

I have just spent a couple of days in the home of al fresco dining and bitter band disputes, Adelaide, with a salesman from the most rock and roll company that re-sells Avaya products, Les from NSC (a veteran of Squid Ink's legendary, but sadly unrecorded, first gig), and he shared with me some inspiring methods for many things. One of them I wish to apply to the band. I am not overly familiar with the self-help/motivational genre of books (arts graduates are well trained to sneer at such items with their invented verbs and passive voice) but there was an acrostic for success that caught my ear S.M.A.R.T. Now I wish to re-arrange them so they don't spell a word but make more procedural sense, i.e. S.R.A.M.T.
We shall acheive our goals and we shall make sure they are:

Timeframe (note to band, this would be better as an adjective like the others)

The last one we have trouble with in particular. I have two SRAMT objectives which I think are worth putting through this particular motivational wringer and see if they don't come out a bit drier at the end.

1) Record and put out the stupid and ever changing album. I have found the cash for the recording at Head Gap so we just need to decide on a date...and give it some SRAMT shape.

2) Play at the Big Day Out. Not this coming one but next (that is the Timeframe taken care of). This can be any festival really...I am so out of touch with the young people that it will turn out only bald men still attend the BDO and these days you flash mob (giving away my age again) or it all takes place on My Space (probably now just the province of pedarests)...none the less...gentlemen, let's SRAMT. I shall bring the butcher paper to rehearsal!

In more exciting news I have discovered that Mr Midian's name is Paul...and with this knowledge I feel I have gained something but lost much much more.

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Quick catchup

Check it out. Albert Einstein action figures. Complete with some chalk in his hand. “This item makes a great gift!” Sadly they're sold out at the moment. I love the internet.

Anyway, plenty of action — if not on the blog then at least in the band:

Rehearsal this week saw the introduction of not one but three new songs from UT. Challenging riffs for the fretjockeys in the band and a sweet, sweet melody for Crafty to sing. But, my word, three songs in one week! We all saw the sweat on Silky's brow and the fear in his eyes.

It was demonstrated at rehearsal that being in a hard rocking band is a good deal easier when none of us have gone to our day jobs. Despite suggestions to the contrary we are considering giving our day jobs up.

The warm, friendly environs of the Barleycorn Hotel have called to us and we play there again with the mighty 7 Day Fools late in July.

Having heard the wonders of the new Marshall, at least half the band are considering upgrading their dodgy gear.

The Squids spent the long weekend being all social and visiting each other and being all nice and stuff. It was suggested that this may need to change: bands are often fuelled to produce greatness when the levels of creative tension are highest. Think of Jane's Addiction, The Beatles, Hi 5. Perhaps we ought to foster some intra-band fury. What's with this three song shit, UT? Oi, Silky: take that new amp and hit yourself with it. And where's your comment, Crafty?

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