Tuesday, September 22, 2009

State Of The Axe

Fans of the band and blog will no doubt be wondering exactly where Unrelenting Tedium is with his guitars. The re-acquisition by my eldest brother of his Burns Marquis re-issue guitar has prompted some soul-searching at Modern Tedium Industries 3000. Why have guitars that you never ever play? For it is good for the soul… however it becomes injurious to the soul when you are struggling to store them. Time for some rationalisation. A cunning manouvre was played on the free-love manager we have when I returned said Burns and encouraged him to keep the Fender Bullet (complete with USA Owner's Manual).

So now I have two electrics in the form of the Fender Bronco (most honourable guitar number 1) and the Fender Duo-Sonic (never had an easy relationship with this guy but I have grudging respect for his refusal to bend to my needs). The man in the most dangerous position is the Hofner Committee semi-accoustic. Silky once described himself, when he saw an image of him on stage with the Danelectric, as a praying mantis playing a toothpick. With Hofner in hand I look like the guy in the mariachi band who plays the silly big guitar (a moment's research proves it to be called a guitarrĂ³n). I do like owning it though.

The ukulele is providing no end of home-based entertainment and the octave drop on the 3rd string is a revelation in harmony. The tuning of the top four strings of the guitar (only up a fourth) make it the easiest cheat ever. No wonder every man, woman and dog is playing it. I must retrieve my mandolin from the chap who has had it for 10 years.

Non-manager brother has an excellent steel-string that he never plays which he has offered but I have an ordinary Ibanez so I need to off-load that before I can justify liberating the Art & Lutherie from under his well used bed.

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Guitar Gulag and Other Essays

Clarence White...so tremendously overlooked. He even invented the b-bender. You can take your early era birds and that 8 Miles High shite and blow it out your patooti. David Crosby was, and remains (when Gene Clark is gone...where's the justice, where's the sense?) an annoying, worthless swine. Clarence soared, picked, twiddled and thrilled. Speed, grace, fire and skill. Dead early and with some great face art. It would be mean not to give my fav guitarist spot to Thommo but Clarence is up there. He never ceases bend my mind with his B string. The Byrds Live at the Filmore East is an end-to-end masterclass.

Fluffy furnished me, via some sordid practices at a major department store and the price of a coffee at a way-too-hip-for-a-guy-dressed-as-a-bank-teller-wearing-a-fleece cafe (I suspect they would be really upset to be called a cafe but I don't know what else to call it), with an imac. This has prompted the change to garageband from my hitherto lifelong devotion to cakewalk. Garageband is certainly a neat piece of software that confuses grumpy old gen Xers like me by trying to get me to pay for Norah Jones to teach me how to play one of her songs...or John Foggerty (but only Proud Mary. Where is Effigy sir!?)...or Sting (clearly the imac has not probed my mind to hear the contents of my poem Listening To Sting, as surely it would not offer him to me?), when all I really want to do is record me whining along to mah geetah. By gum does it make it easy to do that. Paddy is all analogue, which is ironic as there could never be an analogue of the inimitable Paddy (and once again Happy Birthday for yesterday). When I probed the home of he and his partner (knowingly maintaining the mystique of the blog and its reader) last month I found that he had recorded a tone-poem representation of a Silky meditation entirely on his four-track (still bearing the stickered name of his swift uncle on its housing). And I thought I was Gen X...

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Friday, September 18, 2009

The Fifth Squid...

Fluffy pointed me in the direction of a Northcote recording studio which goes by the name of the Soundpark because of the happy coincidence with my own surname. The website certainly looks the business and they proclaim themselves to be well priced. But, and I acknowledge what an intersting peice of info it was, it made me feel dirty to consider using anyone other than Trevor. The man records albums excllently and builds at least some part of two squid homes.

Trevor has no idea he is the fifth squid and would possibly be upset to hear that he is. I will never forget when we finished the mix on Crossbreed and as the silence filled the room he swung around on his chair and said "Gentlemen, you have just recorded your first number one single". Of course he was wrong...and I had asked him to say it...but I will never forget it.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Plate of Cold Sick

One trouble with the band hiatus has been the effect on my song writing. If you sit around with only an acoustic guitar, or after yesterday a ukulele, all you end up writing are dribbly strummy-wummy songs. Perhaps it is time for the introspective revelation that will be the Modern Doug Park solo album...the Squid members who receive my demo versions of new songs prior to rehearsal will no doubt be excited by this prospect. Often the shuffle function on my Ipod kicks my arse by bringing up MP3s of these demos and the slow, awful, strained shite that makes its way at considerably higher volume (cakewalk's fine work) out of the speakers is an entirely inexquisite agony.

My thesis is that hot rock breeds hot rock. You are what you eat. For this reason don't read free newspapers. And if you promise not to I will consider holding off the solo album.