Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Capricciosa funk

A flat night for most at rehearsal last night was attributed by some to the foolhardy decision to let Dan purchase dinner and by his unerring choice of Melbourne's and possibly the world's worst capricciosa. Preliminary googling shows stiff competition for world's worst status (also see left). If only we'd taken samples for testing back at the lab, the title could be ours.

The pizza was limp, lacking crispness and flavour — some might say emblematic of a session in which the squids never got out of the shallows. Crafty forgot the intro to his signature piece, Silky-D struggled with either a flu or pre-nuptial jitters, Modern Doug pronounced several calls of N.F.G.E and even Paddy struggled to remember the words of the band's hits-in-waiting.

Later, as I drove him home he took issue with my Ipod, which appeared to be selecting from a secret list of his most hated songs in the universe (The Motels, Van Morrison, The Byrds and Sandpit). The bass-man was in a funk all right.

But after dropping him off, the pod coughed up Going Nowhere, the 1974 Neil Sedaka classic, which miraculously turned the night around for the better. If I ever find myself on Australian Idol, I'll be singing this. Only my inability to find a live stream on the net prevents me sharing it with you.

You can keep your Dylan, your Dead, your Joplin and your Buffalo bloody Springfield, Neil Sedaka sums up the bittersweet realities of the counterculture here in a way nobody has surpassed.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A Challenge Met...

And so as I made away from the stag do I enquired of the silky buck "pray tell, my fine lengthy squid, where does your honeymoon take you?".
"Why Douglas! I'm glad you asked." he replied with a joviality found only through oversized steak consumption "Three weeks in borneo...that would make a great song...I bet you can't work that into a song".
We will all be pleased to find that today's song takes in this line as part of a tale of undersized sickly tyons and monkey's brains being eaten whilst the live monkey is strapped to a harness. It's very much a song for the everyman. I include the hastily scrawled lyrics.

I have never met so many Age journalists in all my days.

it's where the honeymooners go
three weeks alone in borneo
like hot oil on monkey's brains
all strapped in with belts and chains

to find a life deprived
it's the sadness in a tyon's eyes

drinking cheap malaysian wine
while keeping indonesian time
feel it warm upon your plate
as the monkey's curly tail goes straight

to find a life deprived
it's the sadness in a tyon's eyes

not a lion
not a tiger
half of both 
but none of either

an early death
half the size
can't look his parents
in the eyes

to find a life deprived
it's the sadness in a tyon's eyes

to find a life deprived
it's the sadness in a tyon's eyes

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Ripe Salmon

For two band members said no. And so it was that Paddy arrived fresh from watching a Melbourne Victory Loss (like what I did there ;-)) at the Tote just after 11pm to join UT and Tedium the Elder for a fine evening of rock and roll. Too much had been imbibed all round and Paddy was already looking lairy.
The Fishman kicked off and was accompanied by a drummer only. I had heard sneery talk of White Stripes etc...but I feel he yearns for Kuepperesque cred and his recent outing with only Jeffery Wagoner had caught Salmo's imagination. Whislt shredding some decent licks Salmo stuck mainly to Scientist material (and b-sides!!!) and it got tired with no bass.
Then came Ripe. 10 Years has found their powers GREATLY diminished. They stuck almost entirely to their new EP and their early EPs with only ONE SONG from their only album, The Plastic Hassle, which I would argue is the 2nd best album released by an Australian band (it even has the obligatory one bad track to ensure it is a truly great album). And that one song ripped and rocked like a Squid Ink song. However the rest were slow and dribbly. Paddy left half way through saying something like "blah blah blah this shit blah blah". I believe the only point of note for the boy was some momentary bass wizardry by Katie Dixon as she gave a masterclass in plectrum rhythmn...perhaps I am overstating it somewhat....Anyway, in short Salmo came away undiminshed but a touch self-indulgent and Ripe are washed up junkies. Ho clears the decks for Squid Ink I suppose.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Woman-hating troubadour of high camp

At the gym the other morning - these rock-hard biceps do not just come from frantically strumming the chords to Mrs Bun - I fired up my ipod. While everyone around me was sweating it out to the strains of some Hi NRG dance music I was rocking the x-country skier with that woman-hating troubadour of high camp, Elton John and his 1973 killer album track Dirty Little Girl.

Silky-D is a modern dude, who is well clued in to the gender politics of our age and who in his own home regularly debates hot topics such as the difficulty of achieving work/life balance, whether the modern superwoman can really have it all and whether or not Tony Abbott should remove his rosaries from somebody's ovaries. Anyway, listening to Bernie Taupin's lyrics got me wondering if Dirty Little Girl - a long time favourite that I would be lobbying for as a cover if I knew how to play a nice clumping piano - is one of the most misogynistic mainstream songs of all time.

The chorus alone goes:
I'm gonna tell the world, you're a dirty little girl
Someone grab that bitch by the ears
Rub her down, scrub her back
And turn her inside out
Cause I bet she hasn't had a bath in years

Obviously there are worse - think 2Live Crew's We Want Some Pussy or Iron Maiden's Bring Your Daughter to the Slaughter - but I'm talking mainstream. The sort of thing you might hear on Gold FM. I also like the first verse where Elton/Bernie discuss in thinly-veiled code how they get an erection by fantasising about shooting what appears to be a homeless woman who they fear might wander onto their property. I think the shooting may be a double entendre.

I've seen a lot of women who haven't had much luck
I've seen you looking like you've been run down by a truck
That ain't nice to say sometimes I guess I'm really hard
But I'm gonna put buckshot in your pants if you step into my yard

I invite all fans of this blog to submit their nomination for classic woman-hating songs of the rock and roll canon. I feel it's important that we clear this up before we proceed with Stephanie Alexander is a Cunt.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Long Player

A merry christmas and a happy new year to one and all. Our drummer has returned from the land of the long white cloud holding a hot dog on an icy pole stick and choice pair of jandals on his feet. He will be pleased to know (if he ever fucking reads this blog!!!) that much work has been done on the hotly anticipated long player from Squid Ink. A quick listen to the tracks so far has made me further convinced that my engineers, Silky and P-Borg, are indeed cloth eared as I hear many peaks (perhaps I have the ears of a local furry squid...who can say?) and the days stretching on has made me sure we should ram home three tracks and force them on to local drinking establishments in order to hurry up the long-dreamt-of second gig. What say you men of Squid Ink? Obviously the album follows shortly but I want to play again...people said nice things after the last one... and it gets us one gig closer to the coveted Celebrity Rooter segment on Best of The Brat.

Possible lyric idea: Stephanie Alexander is a cunt.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy New Year

A brand new year. The party season has left little time—it seems—for the literate, witty banter that the world has fallen captive to on this page.

Doug and I, with Dan's caring and comforting company, spent some time recording some vocals. The tracks are coming together nicely. As I told Doug, I think Mnemosyne in particular is sounding splendid.

There's something a little deflating about recording vocals. You are standing in front of the microphone breathing from the diaphragm and all that and singing at tremendous volume yet with an impassioned and emotion-filled timbre and then you hear the playback and it emits some weedy, tuneless voice with all the notes wrong.