Turn depression into anger.

pg6-NOW-1985

Depressed.

I spent most of today working on 1985. It felt stupid, because it is totally stupid – whatever achievements took place today were all derivative. Yeah sure I have a lot of vinyl reissues that need fixing up and mastering and packaging and then once they come out a whole bunch of people will say how happy they are that they can have something that has already popped out the other side of any risk. Have some money!

Of course that’s normal. Most successful artists do the same thing over and over again. Replicate the first work that got them notice. The same installation idea they had 20 years ago dragging its arse from gallery to gallery. How the hell do they ever reconcile this with their creative spirit? I’m not waving my finger here, I’m asking O great artists, tell me how you avoid feeling that dead, useless, depressing choke of stale air and limp will?

Money! And Applause! and invitations to the Red Queen’s ball! All the shit you don’t get when you’re trying to make real progress. I managed to play it right when getting the HH game up at Adelaide. Play old music, get new game. That was like burning wet leaves but hey, it was a solid attempt.

And-one-must-acknowledge-one’s-legacy-and-ensure-it-is-preserved-as-part-of-the-official-history.

(There are journalists at the virtual door! They want to talk about 1985. Do I still have my 1985 studio set up? Maybe I could dig up some dead band members to join in the chat?)

000039f9_medium

L-R: Deering, Knuckey, Racic, Jones, Bradbury, Ellard.

At my work we’re getting all fussed up about creative coding and giant dome shaped TVs – on one side that’s all just Pyramids for Pharaohs, but on the other side there’s still a lot to do in that realm to make an audience cry or smile. Not that I would ever be allowed to besmirch any of that tasty kit – unless of course it was something I did in 1985.

Got to clear my head. Get all this memento mori out the door and then get back to something risky. As far as the world is concerned that’ll be a return to failure but it is a sure thing that when no one cares you are forced to care enough for the whole world.

It’s in the game realm. That’s where the action is. I don’t know how and I don’t know where exactly, but that’s where the transgressions take place.

Last days. Again.

It’s funny isn’t it, how the busiest times seem to jam up at the death of things. It’s busy now, very busy, as we prepare another larger coffin for Severed Heads. How many coffins has this corpse escaped so far? Houdini!

zombie

Yeah, well, OK. But just once more.

Severed Heads is very weary. It shuffles along carrying another heavy load, confused by being alive and dead all at once. Reanimated for as long as some more publicity gets injected, but frankly it starved to death years ago. No one gave a flying fuck until it was buried. Now they keep digging it up.

dogwithbigbone

Look I found the track with old guy’s voice in it!

Weary. Now that’s the word, more spiritual than just plain old tired.

I think this coffin is going to be the big one. There’s going to be a TV crew, outside broadcast van, the contract is 47 pages long, residual rights blah blah names and likenesses blah blah LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT of this old cobble of bones. Documentation that this thing has finally carked it and “pity we didn’t go to see them when they were still around?”

Like any dying thing you keep gasping for air, it’s primal. You think that you can drag that few more minutes out of the universe, but you’re already gone. I’ve got a whole album of music I’ve been recording and some drunk midnights almost get to planning some kind of distribution. Thank God that next morning someone will write and ask if they can re-issue 1983 for the 1000th time and remind me why I just record for myself – cut out the middle man.

And frankly, the wonderful people (I really mean that) who are supporting us aren’t the current listening audience. We’re one generation away from people who go to The Opera.

Florentine-Opera-Company

If I go to the op’ra house, in the op’ra season
There’s someone sure to shout at me without the slightest reason
If I go to a concert hall to have a jolly spree
There’s someone in the party who is sure to shout at me
“Where did you get that hat? Where did you get that tile?
Isn’t it a nobby one, and just the proper style?
I should like to have one Just the same as that!”
Where’er I go, they shout “Hello! Where did you get that hat?”

So then, weary but not lazy. Let’s make a great show of it, entertain, play the old bones another round. Always have pride in your work. Do the song with the bloke in it after all it’s going to be on TV as long as that old Rock Arena horror. After that, well Stewart’s got a Tangerine Dream style band he keeps threatening to launch (and I’m mentioning to guilt him into launching) so I’ll ask if I can be Conrad Schnitzel. That sounds fun.

If you’ve got any suggestions for what his band should be called I reckon you tweet him. He’ll hate that. If you don’t tweet leave a suggestion here.

All the hits of the 80’s, 90’s … and now!

On the Jolly Bus going over to the exhibition site, the radio was on, and the Deep Radio Voice promised hits. The 80’s, the 90’s, and NOW! Hah I thought. You left out the wrong decade. But then I wondered which decade really was the abyss. Maybe I’d mellowed on the 90’s. Maybe it was more than the period in which Depeche Mode discovered chin fluff.

I should first declare the 2012 exhibition opened, run and closed without any death or injury. I made the usual video.

The last two years I liked paintings so don’t beat on me for liking the First Person Shouter. We had four computer games on show this year, pretty good for a university that has no games design. Hmmm.

Right, the 90’s. I could hate the 90’s for entirely personal reasons – I did go from the top 20 to 50 bucks in less than a year. But that was ’95 and I was already fed up with The Mod Revival, Brit Pop, Bands That Sound Like Nirvana, the throwback rockist/stubble culture and fucking ‘Big Beat’ way before Fat Boy Slim, which was the anal hair of that whole era. By the end I was being suitably punished by working on major label compilations of ‘Indie’ ‘Alternative’ ‘Big Fat Beats’. The explorers of sound were selling their equipment to people that wanted to make Hammond organ riffs. It felt like the base was falling out of everything, but in hindsight I read the situation a little more kindly.

In 93 I was jumping over to so called ‘new media’ – something which seemed esoteric in Sydney. In reality most progressive bands were investing in interactive works around that time. Like any real underground you heard nothing until it was nearly over.

CD-ROM format came and went so quickly that the WIRED articles lasted longer than the play testing. While you can find albums from 1996 without any trouble the ROMs are dead and buried on abandonware sites. Even if you can find them you’ll have to have a computer from the era running OS9 or Windows 95. New Media diverted the old progressive electronic music scene of energy and gave very little back. It allowed people (including myself) to tread water by switching old artwork to new packaging.

There were a lot of bad ROMs but many good titles that don’t deserve their current obscurity. Take for example the ROMs published by Inscape which are all interesting in their own way. It strikes me that DEVO, The Residents and William Burroughs are all old school, as are the other CD-ROM makers – Bowie, Prince, Gabriel … it could be a money thing, but perhaps CD-ROM was just a 1980’s idea that fell past its use by date.

There’s another thing I missed about the 90’s: my generation were breeding. Breeding means a real job and no nights out. Breeding means transferring libido into the offspring. I see this from the 40+ year olds now spilling back into circulation, paying for Gary Numan / Severed Heads shows and buying downloads of the CDs they owned before the childopalypse.

The important admission – the old guard was seriously out of ideas by this stage. No wonder that the next wave looked at us with contempt and jumped back on the ‘authentic’ stubble wagon. Not that the Mod Revival was particularly authentic – but it was better that than old fat 808 State.

The rescue myth I took up near the 00’s was that the music underground started to grow back in the German club scene – the post-digital glitch and minimal movement. It seemed that electronic music was reclaiming lost ground one hard panned sine wave at a time. But is that really true?

Like punk, the glitch scene started something important it couldn’t finish.The style declared a year zero, popped out quite a few manifestos and then ran screaming back to the past in the form of 70’s dub and disco. I like these styles so I was cool with ‘post glitch’ music but it’s no more credible to make ‘blip dub’ or ‘click hop’ than ‘remixed rock’. If you really want to to be mean – just another white style that needed a black butt.

The majority of ‘glitch’ was only ever listenable on the basis of it being a reaction, correction, the clearing of the stables, an insult to ‘authenticity’. Revolutions have a short shelf life. Long before Clicks and Cuts Volume Five stumbled out in 2010 the whole thing stank as high as every other musical movement. Some existing outfits like Oval were swept up, celebrated and spat out. The survivors were on the outside as always – e.g. Mouse On Mars simply orbited around it all paying small heed to any of it.

The Deep Radio Voice is more accurate than it seems. ‘Now’ is not a decade as such, it’s the time after which we lost faith in these movements, in cycles and some kind of dialectic of knobs versus wires. ‘Now’ is the 00’s, the 10’s and probably until the death of pop music. And that’s a real revolution.

CDs are dead…

CDs are dead. Dead dead dead. No more CDs and…

ooh, courier at the door with box. Whatsis.

Oh, it’s the Plastikman CD box set. Bloody hell. You could use this to press some flowers that’s for sure. 11 discs? Jesus.

Better get on the phone.

Hello? Is that Germany? Speak English, this is music industry. Yes. Yes, fine thanks.

Now listen, about these CDs. Any CDs. Didn’t you get the memo? CDs are dead. Yes. Tot. No more discs. You have to stop making these large attractive physical objects. No I’m not… it’s not… look, I’m not in charge. You have to read some of the internet analysts to … analysts. An – al – list. Ja. Steve Jobs says that discs are over. Yes I know he retired but he’s still… …¬† … … I don’t think that’s physically possible. Even with a cassette.

Look I just thought I’d tell you that you’re doing something that the media says is dead and buried, you’re supposed to host this sort of thing online and try move it through the cloud. The cloud. Cloud. um Wolke? Yes, very funny. CDs, DVDs, Blu Rays are all finished and you’re supposed to not use them anymore. Well I’m just saying. Same to you.

Well that was unpleasant. I don’t know what is with people that just refuse to move on when media analysts tell them. We all know that films are on YouTube and music is on iTunes and that’s it. What is this guy going to do next? Vinyl? Books? Lord above people don’t want physical objects!

Now where on earth am I going to put this thing?

‘sapnin

I would love to tell you what is going on. But then I’d have to kill you. And I’d have to travel around to people’s houses to do that and it’s Sunday night so I’d rather stay in. Mind you, I could arrange for people to come here so I could kill them which would be more convenient. But then I’d probably have to wait around for people to show up. And I’d go out and come back and find a note CAME AROUND FOR YOU TO KILL ME BUT YOU WEREN’T IN. So really it’s best if I keep on being mysterious about WHAT IS GOING ON.

Actually the funny thing is the closer I get to being able to say, “Yes, OK I know what is going to happen and I can announce it now”, the more likely that it will cause a sudden plot twist where the spy woman that I thought was shadowing me is actually a male relative who is running away from aliens or something like that. But not as interesting.

You see, last week I thought that January wasn’t going to happen. Because I hadn’t heard anything for a while and I went to the website of the organisers and there was nothing listed so I thought, well that’s yet another disappointing life experience, shall I become an alcoholic? No! I will update my web presence instead. And I wrote to the person organising December, who had started last January. Are you following?

But now the person who was organising December hasn’t written back and I suddenly heard that January is on. What’s more if I do January then I can’t do December because somebody would get cross for reasons that I can’t say. Or I’d have to kill you and that’s too much trouble. God I am so grateful that I don’t Twitter, or I’d have to announce nothing several times an hour.

Look maybe it’s better if I say what ISN’T going to happen. Is that OK? Great.

  • I am not adopting an African child, nor is an African child adopting me.
  • You may have heard something about Dolly Parton, it is completely without foundation.
  • Chocolate Clinker biscuits are not coming back onto the market despite being the greatest invention of mankind. I die a little when I accept this.
  • There are NO plans for any new Severed Heads record, tour or TV show.

When I actually have details that won’t disappear the moment I try rely on them, I’ll spill the beans. If I have beans. I don’t have any right at this moment.

09_37_4---Baked-Beans-on-toast_web

Shipping of CDs is a bit late. I will now attempt emotional blackmail … I’m sorry but work is frantic right now. Last Thursday went from 9AM to 9PM, Friday I was busy building a new video production course, Saturday I got to filling orders as well as editing a video for The Interpreter. Today I allocated 1 hour of human contact before getting back to study and … and … birds pecked me. Yes.

Survey: Music Industry Perceptions 09

This study was conducted by the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Exchange on behalf of PayPal, Rapidshare, Google and The Pirate Bay. All rights reserved. Pirate Bay et al. reserves the right to prosecute for unauthorised reproduction of the data hereunder.

I enjoy listening to music.
Agree Strongly 88% Agree 9% Disagree 1% Don’t Know 2%

Music is important, it improves my life.
Agree Strongly 80% Agree 10% Disagree 8% Don’t Know 2%

So I’m prepared to pay for music.
Agree Strongly 8% Agree 20% Disagree 80% Don’t Know 2%

No, I get my music from illegal downloads.
Agree Strongly 72% Agree 9% Disagree 0% Don’t Know 9%

All musicians are rich lazy arseholes anyway so they deserve nowt.
Agree Strongly 88% Agree 10% Disagree 0% Don’t Know 2%

Musicians enjoy their work, so they don’t need my money.
Agree Strongly 88% Agree 8% Disagree 4% Don’t Know 2%

In general, people who enjoy work should do it for free.
Agree Strongly 78% Agree 10% Disagree 0% Don’t Know 2%

Including myself.
Agree Strongly 0% Agree 0% Disagree 100% Don’t Know 0%

Musicians should live off T Shirts sales at gigs.
Agree Strongly 90% Agree 8% Disagree 0% Don’t Know 2%

Dentists should live off T Shirt sales at surgery.
Agree Strongly 2% Agree 10% Disagree 78% Don’t Know 0%

If a dentist was also a musician then I’d buy his T Shirt.
Agree Strongly 0% Agree 0% Disagree 0% Don’t Know 100%

It’s black with a bitchin’ evil winged tooth on it.
Agree Strongly 2% Agree 40% Disagree 40% Don’t Know 18%

All the money goes to rip-off record labels. I don’t want them to get my money.
Agree Strongly 87% Agree 4% Disagree 0% Don’t Know 9%

Whereas Rapidshare is a reputable business.
Agree Strongly 80% Agree 2% Disagree 0% Don’t Know 18%

Albums suck these days, there’s only 1-2 good tracks on them.
Why pay for that shit?

Agree Strongly 82% Agree 10% Disagree 0% Don’t Know 8%

I download the whole album anyway, might grow on me.
Agree Strongly 100% Agree 0% Disagree 0% Don’t Know 0%

Besides, I just got a huge hard drive for music and porn.
Agree Strongly 65% Agree 12% Disagree 13% Don’t Know 10%

Sharing is the future.
Agree Strongly 0% Agree 0% Disagree 78% Don’t Know 22%

(Let us rephrase that) Sharing other people’s stuff is the future.
Agree Strongly 90% Agree 10% Disagree 0% Don’t Know 0%

I secretly wish I was a musician.
Agree Strongly 0% Agree 0% Disagree 100% Don’t Know 0%

(The survey is completely anonymous. Trust us.)
Agree Strongly 50% Agree 30% Disagree 0% Don’t Know 20%

There was that person at school that really sucked but just because they became a musician they were really popular and they didn’t deserve it and I hate them. I hate them.
Agree Strongly 100% Agree 0% Disagree 0% Don’t Know 0%

I have a real job, I don’t just ponce around on a guitar all day, lah dee dah.
Agree Strongly 78% Agree 3% Disagree 0% Don’t Know 19%

I hate my job.
Agree Strongly 90% Agree 0% Disagree 0% Don’t Know 10%

Music Technology Update!

NEW PROTOOLS 8 IS ON ITS WAY!

Amazing new features are coming to the Industry Standard!

  • Less Ugly. PT8 looks like it comes from this decade!
  • Now only 208 less tracks than our competition – down from 224.
  • Pitch stuff up or down. We enabled the other bit of the elastic audio plugin added in 7.4.
  • Cut and paste your dud guitar solos more easily with the Dud Solo view.
  • Scoring. 1986 – here we come.
  • Some virtual instruments although let’s not get carried away here people. Business is business.
  • We haven’t compromised on any of the features you expect from Avid. Locked to limited hardware. Real time bounce to disc. Weird RTAS plugin format. Incompatible with most PC hardware.

Avid. Because it’s good to be king.

SPONSORED INTERVIEW : THE NEW TRAGISPHERE

Stooge: We’re here with Eric and Diego at Speculsonics HQ to hear the new Tragisphere synthesiser.

Eric: Hello! I’m Eric and this here is Diego, just one of our international team of sound designers that brought you Tragisphere. We’re proud to present to you now the many man years of work that went into the making of this new exciting synthesis technology!

Diego: Hola.

Stooge: Tragisphere is the first product to use a completely new technique called Psychobabble sampling! Tell us about it Diego!

Diego: I set fire to my gran-mother. She burn.

Eric: That’s right! We just went all out to collect the state of the art in crazy sounds and then we run them through a series of filters and doodads we call the HOT AIR engine. Once you do that you get this amazing sound… (Eric plays some chords).

Stooge: That sounds a lot like an electric piano.

Eric: The warmth and movement in this new technique is amazing. Diego, tell us about the light bulb.

Diego: I shove it up my ass.

Eric: And that creates these tiny little shards of sound that are unlike anything you have heard in a synthesiser before. HOT AIR means we can tweak this sound in just about any way imaginable. Just listen …

Stooge: That kind of sounds like the same electric piano with more reverb.

Eric: This amazing instrument comes with ten times the sounds of our previous Sphere product. Each preset has a picture that instantly cues you in to what you are about to hear.

Diego: This one, I kill with my knife. Slowly. Like the pig. Squeeeee.

Stooge: While I certainly act interested for the pay check I am earning – I don’t understand why every sound ends up like an electric piano.

Eric: Speculsonics is number one in the American market – we work hard on our technology – but we also know our audience. I was sound designer for Roland for 20 years. I did all the sounds on the D50.

Diego: Take out some buildings, two, three, maybe more. Who knows?

Stooge: I get it.

FORM 774B REVIEW AUSTRALIAN POPULAR PERFORMER

Note. Use the 774A form for classical or operatic performer.
Visual arts requires form 775.

Before completing this form ensure that you are describing a musical performer currently under contract to an approved international musical label and/or publisher.
Attach original copies of supportive evidence to the form as appropriate.

It was great to see insert name of Australian performer or group here* rocking down at name of venue** the other night to an ecstatic crowd of locals, delirious at their return from international touring. And name of performer didn’t disappoint, knocking out a tight and sweaty set of numbers from their hit album name of album or use plural ‘albums’ without title listing – see guidelines sheet b attached.

* For female solo acts provide first name only.
** Standard abbreviations such as Ent.Cent., Enm., Met. apply.

There wasn’t a still body in the house as vocalist or name of performer lit up the venue with the classic name of track from first recording within the first five minutes; just the start of wall to wall hits from the many years/months that the band/performer has been together/leapt from the small screen to the stage. I caught name of Australian actor currently employed overseas and his current squeeze first name of female partner amongst the revellers*. No surprise – given the synergy between their careers in global entertainment.

* Provide only names of married or engaged couples.
To mention significant others follow the annexed guidelines 774B/g

Only name of ballad or duet could calm the fevered masses, springing forth a fantasy of lighter flames and mobile phone screens. This quiet moment proved yet again the mastery that name of performer has over style of music or musical era designated by decade*, and a quick survey of the audience reinforced that musical era designated by decade* was by no means dead – at least for this evening. I even saw a lady wearing name of female clothing item that acts as clich√© for particular musical era. Now that’s authentic!

* You should first consult 774B/e for suitable substitutions for this and the following sections. E.g. for ‘Jet’ the suitable substitutions include ’60s’ and ‘Beatles’. ‘Wolfmother’ links to ‘Led Zeppelin’ and ’70s’. Using section e will ensure faster approval of the review.

These guys/she are inch by inch the equal of acts like list names of performers from particular musical era that are not Australian performers. But with that special easy charm that only true Aussies can bring to the stage.

And do I need to mention the sheer brilliance that is name of solo instrument performer’s instrument?

All around the world right now, Aussie bands such as select names of Australian performers from schedule 43 of AUSTRADE booklet attached are winging around the world, showing the planet that we can pump out the hits with the best of them! And right up there in the greatest of the great is name of performer, on their way to carving their name across the world.

This form is suitable for use at any publication owned by News Limited or Fairfax. If not owned by either please check list of approved publications.