Saturday, September 22, 2007

Axe Murderer

Having felt, for some time, quite jealous of Silky's beefy tone (note: possible solo live album title for our rhythmn player) and having been, for some time, keen to impress G-to-the-showizzlewick's guitar tech fellow. I decided to embark on the thin end of the slippery slope that is guitar customisation. I paused momentarily before hacking my Duo-Sonic to pieces as it is all original but a quick ebay proved that the world is stuffed full of such antiquities and so long as I kept all the bits there would be no harm done. SO! I went and bought me a DiMarzio humbucker squished in to the size of a single coil, a soldering iron and some solder (turns out flux comes inside solder these days). Having made the obligatory cup of tea, I stared at the instructions...feeling not confident at all I unscrewed all the can see in the photo above (which unusually for me is an actual record of the event I am writing about) the situation which faced me...anyway I soldered on regardless. To cut a long story short (the tricky bit is those slider switches by the way) I plugged it in and I didn't get electrocuted and it works but I am not sure this phase business is right. I may still take it to the dudes who sold me the pickup and get them to redo all the wiring as it is looking about as fresh and lubed as an old man's testicles.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Forty Years Ago Today

In September '67 — forty years ago exactly — The Beatles were recording Magical Mystery Tour. I like to imagine John sitting at his breakfast table at home in Weybridge with Cynthia boiling him some eggs as he was muttering “goo goo g'joob” into his teacup as he prepared for another afternoon up at Abbey Rd telling Paul to get stuffed.

But who cares about Magical Mystery Tour? The lads had released Sgt Pepper's only a few months earlier and it had gone off very well.

Here's the thing though: for an album that redefined music, has been voted as number one in many greatest albums of all time polls and is the highpoint in the lads' magnificent career, it only has a couple of good songs on it.

Don't believe me?

‘Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band’
The classic introduction to the great “concept album.” How far into the album did this concept last? One song more.
‘A Little Help From My Friends’
Sorry, Ringo. Your friends were not helping when they made you sing this one. What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know it's mine. Oh chortle chortle you little boys.
‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’
Paul's playing on the organ is rather nice but the song is a bore. The clumsy switching from 3/4 to 4/4 in the choruses bug me.
‘Getting Better’
It couldn't get no worse? I'm right there with you.
‘Fixing A Hole’
They had a hole in the middle of side A and this is what they chose to fill it with?
‘She's Leaving Home’
Ask yourself why, Paul.
‘Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite’
Lennon takes the words on a poster he found and puts them to music. George Martin earned his pay making this sound as good as it does.
‘Within You Without You’
Oh George, just put the pen down. Sit in the corner quietly and we'll tell you when we've got a solo for you to play.
‘When I'm Sixty-Four’
McCartney wrote this when he was 15. It shows, doesn't it? The arrangement of the clarinets is very good, though.
‘Lovely Rita’
“When are you free to take some tea with me?” Voted the greatest album of all time, let me remind you.
‘Good Morning Good Morning’
Almost universally loathed. Even Lennon himself didn't like it. I find it magnificent. At last the album starts to offer some cracking tunes.
‘Sgt Pepper's Reprise’
Ringo's cracking intro followed by some clipped, razor sharp three-part harmonies. The end of the album is picking right up now.
‘A Day In The Life’
Utter genius. Of course I have to pay this one. Leaked sounds from the engineering and all, it is superb.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

How Google saved my life

When not honing my bass-playing skills and trying to think of words that rhyme with ‘Charlene’ I like to spend my time minutely examining server logs and visitor statistics. Oh what fun.

Now these posts about “ooh look at what kooky searches I attract” are in my opinion somewhat overdone in the blogs about the place and I was reluctant to add another but two things struck me as I looked over the list of Google searches that hit this blog…

The first was that there were many queries about lyrics to various songs: Girl I'm Gonna Make You Sweat by Inner Circle comes up fairly often, Gimme Some Kind Of Sign by Peter Andre turns up too. By far the most popular query we get about song lyrics is for Max Merritt's Slippin' Away and for those happy people we have plenty to say on that topic. However the thing that struck me was that there were absolutely no search queries at all for the lyrics to any Squid Ink song. To lovers of the Squid Oeuvre I can say that a number of songs from our set began as posts to this blog that were later put to music. The lack of support for them from the Googling masses seems a little bewildering.

The other thing that I noticed from the log: among the more delightful queries (“Is spoon bending immoral” which in my mind is pure genius — “Helicopter acrobatics” my lord, you'd have to be searching pretty bloody hard to find that on this blog) was one for “squid ink's general objective” and that's a telling question. What is Squid Ink's general objective?

Is it to hang with the dudes and eat pizza? Is it to express ourselves artistically, exploring the idea of soap opera weddings as metaphors for modern society? Is it to enjoy playing some soul-tearing hot rock? Is it to win the adulation of millions? I had assumed that Squid Ink's general objective is world peace, Wyld Stallyns-style.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Think Ink! Watch Ink!

Sadly too late for consideration by the Melbourne International Film Festival, the Squid Ink rockumentary has been completed (just in time for the lucrative European short film festival circuit).

Ever wondered what the hell Hinny is all about? What prompted Paddy to break his songwriting drought with a corker called Thin Walls? How Crafty felt to have Modern Doug Park pen a song just for him? Or why Silky-D insists on shredding Cheap Trick's He's a Whore at the end of every gig? Ever wished to know what the band would look like out of focus and in the dark?

The answers to these and many more vexing questions await above. Just click and enter the world of Squidvision…