Hi guys, exciting news!! My first collaboration piece with newcomer producer ‘Bould’ has finally arrived!!! It won’t be to everyone’s taste but definitely more in the direction I want to be taking my music.
Don’t panic, you’ll still be able to see me strumming my guitars and crooning for you around town but there will be a lot more electronica starting to come out of my lab. Original Spectacle music is always what it has been about and I can’t wait to start wheeling out some new tunes for you.
Available through iTunes, Google Play, Shazam, CDbaby
Happy birthday to our departed friend and musical cohort David Bridges.
I think he would have liked a poignant quote from a great 20th century author so I’ll go for a bit of Hunter S. Thompson:
“There he goes. One of God’s own prototypes. Some kind of high powered mutant never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.”
Dave confided to me that he didn’t like this more obscure song (above) that I had written and it was a rare occasion that he went momentarily mute after I told him it was partly based on him and our mutually destructive relationship. He never told me what he thought of it after that.
Many of you are probably wondering where I’ve disappeared to over the last few months.
I guess for all my regional fans I’m afraid that my touring regimen of the WA outback has finally slowed to a halt and at this stage I can’t really say when the next time I’ll be able to visit with you. Needless to say that the next time I come back will be with an exciting new show for you with some new music and gizmos to wow you.
At the moment my new cover band, ‘The Desert Bells’ is laying the groundwork in Perth and I strongly believe that we will become a highly sought after act in Perth’s pubs and at the corporate level. Myself and amazing guitarist/vocalist Ben Elphick are forming the core group with various drummers and bass players rotating through as we play a couple of residencies, corporate shows and high profile Perth pubs. The musicians playing with us are some of the best and respected in the state and I dare say in the country – it’s just a matter of time now for us to settle the line-up, get a bit of notoriety, and conquer.
Check out and ‘like’ the new facebook page for ‘The Desert Bells’ – just put it on fb before I posted this – pretty barren at the moment but it should grow very quickly as we gig each weekend. (Thanks to Amanda Oliver for the pics the other night)
Love to see you at a show as our repertoire and cohesion grows – I can guarantee it will be quite epic once we get going.
= Speak soon.
Here’s a bit of writing that I scribbled in my diary after a sleepless night flying to Melbourne. It’s been edited a touch but still in the scattological stream that my sleep-deprived, coffee-addled mind spewed it out. Kept me busy for a few hours anyway – hopefully gives an insight into my thoughts if you ever see me walking around like a zombie or sitting vacant on a train with my headphones and diary.
An old woman shuffles past the bus terminal at a painstakingly slow pace. The elderly know how to attack the dawn. They make the rest of us look confused and suspicious. I have literally nowhere to be in the Melbourne CBD at six-fifteen in the morning yet she is relentless in her mission. She walks with her snail’s vigour everyday along the same path. It will be three hours before I can enter my ramshackle hotel perched over Chinatown. Three more hours before I have a cold, stiff mattress to power through a few hours sleep and meet the city anew with dappled eyes and an unfogged brain. How boring a world of sumptuous sleep will seem.
The sun has risen unperceived by the inhabitants of this cold city. The streets remain uncharacteristically barren, populated by clustered handfuls of the morning’s victims – the sleep rolling out of the city’s eyes. Though masked by the vehement clouds the dawn sun offers a transparency to the Melbourne streets and alleys, a clarity of hazy spaciousness that disappears once the crowds take up their daily march . The indifferent atmosphere hemming in the skyscrapers is too dull to be truly gloomy. The inhabitants would barely recognize the old town were it not overcast.
Despite her laborious movement, the old woman surprisingly passes me as I unconsciously drift out of her way. Her wilted figure portrays an untiring attrition, a stoic homunculus determined to outlive the changing facades. Her cataracts bring a uniformity to the shopfronts and hotels in their varying states of decay and rejuvenation. She belongs to the city, Spotted in a sepia photograph amidst the stern hat-wearing crowds she would never have been a young woman, but walking as now with bent shoulders to her purpose.
Coffee becomes necessary in this climate. The bounty of whirring cafes represent a moment’s respite from the stagnant grey. A slightly too heavy, slightly too old businessman commandeers a portion of the pavement with his onerous bulk. Expertly squeezing his satchel between his knees he simultaneously sucks a cigarette into the concavity of his cheeks while clasping a corrugated take-away cup of skinny latte with two sugars. At this time of morning his family is dead. They don’t know him, nor he himself. The sleeves of his navy-blue jacket are too short and always were – an exhausted beast of burden tarted up for no-one’s amusement. People smoke their cigarettes in an attempt to give themselves dominion over their awful lives. If they must exist in a grey haze, better it be of their own contemptuous making.
The bums take up their positions. In this lurid sleepless morning I know their homeless pain. I have no idea of their homeless pain. Casually dressed people mutter to themselves with strings of unpunctuated sentences. When I find myself talking to myself it feels like short, violent outbursts of self abuse at a moment of weakness or frustration. Perhaps it feels the same for this lusty bunch but their lapses in self-propriety have no end. I fear that one day an unshowered, unshaven, unsavoury bum will pick me as one of his own, heave his pile of ‘Big Issues’ onto my chest and skip away whooping. I will be left to take over his lot for the rest of my days.
While I slyly take in the passers by I catch their unambiguous glances at me.
Six hairy feet of contradiction. Too comical to be tragic, too tragic to be comical, too benign for anyone to really care. I make their day and am forgotten in another moment.
An almost immeasurable spattering of rain perturbs the people only by it being a cliché. Everybody’s packing an umbrella, more fashion statement than utility. I search for another coffee to allow myself a place to sit out of the damp and cram my thoughts onto paper. Nothing comes for free. A wild-eyed Catalonian hobo in Barcelona taught me this years earlier, singing and capering in English each night for the passers by.. The lyrics hammered home that unavoidable truth. ‘Nothing is for free.’ He was certainly a few strings short of a guitar – which he strummed at adamantly. “Not even sex is free coz you have to buy a condom.’ The song cost me a Euro. A chair out of the rain cost me four dollars.
A statue of Dr Sun-Yat Sen, insultingly tall, gold and anglicized tells me that ‘all the world deserves love’ or some shit. On the other side of the nation, Bon Scott poses, insultingly small, heroically espousing a message of spittle, denim, venereal disease and rock ‘n’ roll. Whose statue will stand longer? The well known sculptures litter the street-corners and malls, barking out Melbourne’s artistic credentials, exulting its bicentennial heritage, begging for a global authenticity. These carefully placed extravagances have been usurped by their swirling counterpart in the form of graffiti. Having fought so hard to be taken seriously, the ‘street art’ seems a touch contrived. Does a hipster hate on graffiti?
The old woman passes the show district, each banner heralding new and exciting theatrical experiences, reflected by the signage of the tram carriages as they clatter by. The titles are all familiar and resonate in a dusty memory, a well-beaten story unfurled with fresh lacquer, an actor of unplaceable notoriety. She knows the promises they proffer won’t be delivered. The heights will never be hit. She knows this despite never attending a show. In a town obsessed with football and horse-racing, no self-respecting local has.
She walks with unerring direction and frankness – no need for appearances. Never again to hopscotch through the sprawl of trendy suburbs in cabs and tramcars to discover new bars, boutiques and eateries
Having reached her destination the old woman ducks hard from the footpath into the warmth of the beaming Hungry Jacks.
feel so nice.
Look at my fresh white teeth.
Aren’t they great?
Don’t you love my shiny teeth?
Ima smile all the time
so you admire my lovely teeth.
Bite your skin
but just a bit.
Leave a print,
impression of my teeth
for a moment
like a memory of my smile
for you to remember with your finger.
My mouth alive in your skin.
Teeth are precious.
Teeth are personal.
Ain’t give away a single one.
Take good care
of your teeth.
Floss-floss, brush and brush.
In and out with wood splinter
sprinkles blood in the basement.
Make pain in the core of your gums
That hurts so sweetly
Teeth don’t taste.
Teeth have no taste at all or
all day we’d taste teeth.
Last year I discovered a fantastic Australian competition in which people are asked to score a short movie for Aussie film-festival ‘Tropfest.’
It was my first time trying anything of this nature and needless to say I didn’t come close to winning. At the same time I enjoyed the challenge of making music to pictures and having a deadline, and it gave me a project for the time that I was moving house and re-setting up my primitive studio.
I think I did a ‘good’ job, nothing spectacular but I’ve posted it here for you to have a listen.
Unfortunately, you can’t see the visuals for legal reasons however check out the 3 finalists here
Most certainly the winner Ben Allen has a great career in production ahead and I thought his score was excellent and a deserving champion.
Now a year on the comp is on again, and I’ve just moved – again – and set-up my studio – again. Got a month to have a crack at a new film – let’s see what I can conjure.
Well hello there,
Long time no blog.
The Spectacle roadtrain has been furiously criss-crossing WA in the pursuit of cash in the dry season in the north of the state.
Last couple of months have been brutal having travelled over 15000 kilometres (less miles) and I must admit I am mentally and physically exhausted. Throw in blown speakers, vehicle failures and overly worn and Pilbarra-reddened sneakers and I’ve come to the conclusion that I will be winding down these long-distance solo tours.
I’m very much appreciative to the venues and audiences who have given me the mandate to do this job over the years and you have kept me buoyed in some of the hardships I’ve been facing. I like to think I have fulfilled my goal of delivering a higher standard of entertainment than often you are subjected to, and to treat my audiences with a bit more musical respect than some of my contemporaries do.
I’m certain I’ll be visiting your far-flung regions again however less frequently than I have been in the past (you can’t get rid of me that easy). I’m hoping to spend more time at home to focus on building my reputation in Perth and working on my music production and songwriting. This means that when I do come back I’ll be fresher and delivering you an even bigger and better Spectacle experience, perhaps even with some of my esteemed muso buddies coming along to dazzle you.
Additionally I will have a bit more time to put some mind-blowing tidbits on this here blog for your amusement.
Am sure will see you all soon, hold your collective breaths.
= S p E C t aC L e
Alright, nothing new for me to post but have spent last week creating a music score for Australian short-film festival tropfest. A 3 minute short-film comp that I had my first attempt at creating music for with absolutely no guidance – and quite possibly no clue.
Can’t show you what I did for legal reasons but instead thought I’d put up links for 3 of my favourite filmclips.
Aphex Twin – Come To Daddy
One of the world’s true musical geniuses with music that is incomprehensible to us mere mortals. Teamed up with director Chris Cunningham (also check out Aphex Twin – Windowlicker) and filmclips with Squarepusher, Madonna, Bjork and more) this dude has pushed the boundaries of experimental cross-genre electronica .. and he’s at Future Music Fest.
Next we have Laurie Andersen – so memorable seeing this (as above) on Rage for the first time. Wicked song, poignant lyrics, a woman after my heart.
hmmm, and to finish off let’s go with this one…
45 million views – it must be good.
Now it’s your turn, inform us what you’re favourite clips are. My internet is painfully slow but I am ever so curious to be enlightened.
Just moved into my new apartment in Inglewood and plan on secluding myself to work on my production skills over the coming months. Got some new hard and software and am hoping my new surroundings will supply some inspiration to build on some old tunes, complete a couple of projects and begin a some new material.
To tide you over I thought I’d give a little Xmas challenge to all budding guitarists out there. Have put a tab (tablature for the uninitiated) for a short guitar ditty I (ostensibly) finished recently entitled ‘Mesmer’ after one my favourite 18th century scientists/weirdos/perverts. The riff sits somewhere between Grieg’s ‘Hall of the Mountain King’ and Panteras’ ‘Cowboys From Hell.’
There’s no info about tempo, timing etc but the idea is to play it as quickly as your fingers will allow in (mostly) 16th notes – makes for a great ‘pinky’ finger exercise.
Will record a version soon for you to hear and am encouraging some guitarist friends to learn and improvise the tune in their own style. Learn it and play it for me next time you see me on my travels – good luck.
And for those not instrumentally proficient I thought I’d regurgitate an old poem from the vault that I tweeked recently called ‘The Switch.’
As always, am happy to hear some feedback and happy to receive any of your artistic contributions requests on where you’d like this site to be going.
Maybe next time some photos, stories, music demos?