Thursday, 30 December 2010

screw your 42" flatscreen tv!

two things that keep cropping up on this blog

home improvements

and star wars

now if only there was an entertaining and inspiring 'light' news piece that could combine the two of them while i look for ideas to geek out the attic room

sheeeet, will you look at that? while everybody else has been getting unreasonably excited about The Empire Strikes Back being inducted into something something, cultural importance blah blah, they've only gone and skipped over the creation of a home cinema styled around around Darth Vader's Star Destroyer!!

'windows' were painted on the walls to give a view looking out from the imposing Imperial fleet vehicle, the room is constructed to be accoustically perfect, and two scarlet-clad Imperial guards even watch over the entrance to this geeking-freaking slice of nirvana that is equipped with 12 leather recliners and a wii, incase chasing down rebels just isn't fun any more.

but the dream becomes almost as crushing as a stormtroopers defeat at the hands of ewoks, when you pay closer attention to the article, since not every misguided geek has a 20 by 30 foot room knocking around to convert and upset their significant others, and to add salt to the recently opened wound they also have an adjoining living room and pool table and have even hosted intimate gigs in the Vader room

and since my own through lounge doesn't come in those particular sizes, i guess we'll keep hooking up the laptop to the projector and stereo for our own cinematic experiences, and i suppose i should consider a more humble approach to redecorating the attic

credit where it's due:

read the full story at triblocal/libertyville

and pictures lovingly pilfered from Amy Alderman (triblocal)

oh, and the home theatre was also completed in 2009! hot news! as soon as it happens!

Sunday, 26 December 2010

delayed by snow? stuck in the post?

i try to be creative

i also try to be giving

and at no other time is this more appropriate than at christmas.

i have already displayed my dismay at not being able to get an actual 'christmas single' ready for the past couple of years, but by way of consolation, and arriving just a day late is the newest track i have created, inspired by this year's Cage Against The Machine campaign

Cage Against The Machine - 4'33" (Hunchbakk's personal experience of tinnitus mix) by Hunchbakk

this is my own interpretation of John Cage's 4'33", and the main inspiration behind it was Eddy TM's involvement with the campaign to take 4'33" to Christmas number one, and how sales of the single would benefit a number of charities, including the British Tinitus Association, of which Eddy is a patron.

so instead of 4 minutes and 33 seconds of silence, or a 4 and a half minute soundtrack of my surroundings as some of the remixes have been, i decided that i should emphasise the tracks links to tinnitus, and try to reproduce what my tinnitus actually sounds like, to convey the discomfort and annoyance caused by my own suffering from tinnitus.

for the most accurate results, go about your daily life as usual and listen to this track at random moments throughout the day and night... at any given moment i will go from barely being able to notice my own tinnitus, to having a sudden and increased ringing in my left ear that will gradually fade over a short length of time, sometimes i am aware of a faint ringing in my ears, other times i am not, but it is most noticable when experiencing what should be silence


other remixes of 4'33" are also available to listen to on the Remix Against The Machine soundcloud page, and for further reading and food for thought, may i point you in the direction of Eddy TM's own musings on this years yuletide chart battle, and his annoyance at not only CATM's lowly chart placing but also a lack of support and concern from certain quarters

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Madonna vs ?

it is very rare that i can actually hear a music news story without sceptically presuming that it is a cleverly disguised piece of promo or plea for attention merely masquerading as 'news'

and it was with the same regard that i also held the recent story that Madonna announced via facebook that she was looking for the "maddest, sickest, most badass people to collaborate with"

my first instinct is that it is just a little fanfare to remind fans that she is still here, but then again, Madonna never really goes away does she? there hasn't been the neccesity of any hard-laboured comeback ever, Madonna is huge, she probably always will be, despite making mis-judged albums like Hard Candy with its rubbish lead single, its rubbish album cover and its eager attempt to bridge an urban market, everyone still wanted a piece of Madonna and the accompanying tour broke her own record of being the highest grossing tour by a solo artist, previouly held by her 2006 Confessions tour.

my second thought on the matter was perhaps i should try and get in on this while the going is good, obviously with my head in the clouds i began imagining that Madonna may pluck me from obscurity, loving what she had heard of my music so far and being impressed by the even more avant guard compositions that i have yet to release upon the general public (i'd have let her listen as i wanted to know what she thought of them) and i would then discuss with her the possibility of producing an ambient and dizzying album together, the type of album that would have Lady Gaga literally gouging her eyes out that Madonna was still the most forward thinking and archetypal female recording artist on the planet and that she was still some way behind...

'hey, Gaga, things have been crazy since Madonna took me on board, but maybe once i get back off the world tour we could hook something up, i've got meetings with Jay-Z in New York and Dangermouse wanted to knock afew ideas around... but i'll definetely have my people arrange something with you as soon as possible'


back to reality

my third thought was that Madonna has already made the fortunes of William Orbit, Mirwais and Stuart Price, all artists that i was already aware of before she sent them rocketing through the stratosphere and probably set them up for life, which got me wondering who she may actually collaborate with on the eventual album

i seriously can't imagine Madonna or Madonna's people fully embracing the mammoth task that such an open and public invitation would induce, anyone with a computer and a little bit of software can call themselves an artist or a producer, as i have proved, and the influx of submissions would be so overwhelming that i'm sure any real talent hoping to emerge would be drowned in a sea of mediocre or downright turgid, crap music.

most likely the new produce will already be known within the music industry, and i wouldn't be at all surprised if a cross-over dance artist such as Calvin Harris or Deadmau5 would be allowed to take the reigns on what will be Madonna's 12th studio album

now i seriosly doubt that my little blog holds any sway over the decisions that Madonna will be making, but if she is passing up on a Hunchbakk produced album, then i would suggest that perhaps she instead enlists the help of Mr Le Sac.

Dan Le Sac is possibly the producer i hold in the highest esteem, and the debut album with Scroobius Pip 'Angles' is an album i return to again and again, constantly and repeatedly fascinated and intrigued by the leftfield production and stuttering beats. And this year's follow up 'The Logic of Chance' builds on the sturdy foundations built by the first, with more forays into dance-centric synths, 8-bit squelches and 2010's obligigatory nod towards dubstep, once again thrown together in a fashion that sounds almost haphazard, yet probably took much fine tuning and crafting to achieve such loose sounding experimental brilliance.

and with Madonna's known flirtations with dance music, i think Dan Le Sac could be the perfect production foil to lead The Queen of Pop to new, groundbreaking territory if he was at the helm of her upcoming album.

in this day and age of facebook campaigns coming out of our ears as they all attempt to be the next big news-worthy, hype hungry movement to change the current status quo, i don't know if putting the idea forward into the social networking forum would be just a whisper lost among a million and one voices all shouting for attention, but then i also think that if i believe in something enough, then maybe, just maybe it would be worth giving it a go.

so my last note is a personal plea to Dan Le Sac, if i can make the difference and get your foot in the door with Miss Ciccone, perhaps you could show your gratitude by hooking a brother up, the chance of a cheeky remix here or a handclap on the album there that i shall be able to claim royalties for, anything would be appreciated, maybe i could be an overpaid tea boy (as i do make a good cuppa if i do say so myself) or even just being the person that applies talcum powder to female dancers between costume changes on tour....

remember that i put you where you are (erm, where i hope to put you) so you know where to find me


stream Sick Tonight by Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip

available on the album The Logic of Chance

Monday, 20 December 2010

brucie bonus

she won the argument about the size of the sofa, and back in the early days of moving in together she also sternly informed me that we WAS going to be getting a tv license and that there wasn't an argument to be had over it

i had no choice

she steadfastly refused to go without watching the telly, despite anything worth watching plus a hell of a lot more being available to stream online

and so it goes that since moving in with my girlfriend afew months ago, i am suddenly a different person, i still don't actively choose to watch the television, but since my computer is still struck dumb and i have nothing resembling a studio to disapear away to i am all of a sudden a lot more aware of what is going on

this is the first year that i have actually been able to name the finalists for the X-factor and Strictly Come Dancing, and the very first time i have taken an active interest in the Apprentice

and while i have kicked up a stink every time she lends any credence to Simon Cowell's despicable cause, i haven't protested so much about tuning into Strictly

obviously i have always been aware of the skimpy outfits, but if she wants to watch it, it isn't all bad too bad for me either

and the Strictly final shaped up to be a battle between two of my favourites of the series, and since the Roxanne Pallet post from last june is still the page that gets the most hits 18 months after it was published it would be foolish not to give a little exposure to one of my other favourite soap sirens that spent most of strictly being over-exposed

mmmmmm... Kara Toyn-Toyn in an outfit similar to those she wore for the past 12 weeks, except with less sequins

she was crowned champion of this series on saturday, and she had been my hot favourite from the start (for reasons other than her dancing skills)  and while the other half has been drooling over Gavin's shirt shedding routines, i have actually been growing fonder and fonder of faux-redhead Aliona, who apparently has to have her hair dyed every week just before the saturday night show

my girlfriend actually seemed genuinely devastated during saturday's final, during which she proclaimed 'what am i going to watch next saturday night??!!'

at which point i reminded her that next saturday would be christmas day and the strictly christmas special would be on, and then everything seemed to right with the world again

(and if i keep quiet and behave myself during strictly, hopefully she won't disturb me during Doctor Who)

Sunday, 19 December 2010

dave against the machine

christmas is creeping ever closer and last night i actualy started my wrapping and piling afew presents underneath the christmas tree, although there is one present that hasn't made it under the tree after i decided to keep it for myself

my brother is always the easiest person to buy for each year since his tastes are so similar to mine, if i like it then there is a pretty good chance that he will like it too, and being the artistic type (translation: broke) it is extremely unlikely that he will have already bought said presents for himself.

and since i can always make my present budget go quite far by economically choosing recycled and ethical presents from charity shops, i thought i might have been onto a winner upon spotting an orange sleeved tome upon the shelves of british heart foundation

intriguingly entitled The Book of Dave, a fleeting glance at the blurb revealed it to be a distopian vision of Britain's future if a slightly mad cabbie's jotted down ramblings were the foundation for a new religion, exactly the type of thing i knew that the Bishop would dig.

except i spent the next few days wondering if i might dig it more

i'd just finished my book from the library and needing stimulation for my brain i decided that i would get stuck in

bloody good job i did too, since it seems that he already has his next book lined up for reading, plus i'm not exactly sure how well his dyslexia would have coped with the futuristic Mockney accent that sections of the book are written in

much like Trainspotting and Pygmy, the story is told with an emphasis on dialogue that it isn't always instant to get a grips with

rest assured he will still be getting decent presents and i'll even go as far as letting him borrow the book if he fancies it after working his way through the Complete works of Lewis Carrol if he so wishes

Thursday, 16 December 2010

titus groan

my foul tempered and life-support assisted computer has been a real burden on any kind of creativity that i was intending to display, another year, another christmas and i'm ashamed to say that i have nought new to offer anybody by way of a musical present.

that isn't to say that i haven't thought about it (after all, i am a thinker and not a doer)

and somewhere on my flatlining hardrive is my follow up to, intended to be released in 2009, but with each fleeting moment i assume that it shall remain an incomplete idea that recoils in Sony Acid

it is a cover version of sorts, and the more thought i give to it, the more i see it as something that was never likely to have acheived fruition

much more likely to be within my grasp was the notion of another cover version, my own attempt at John Cage's 4'33" that i was rather delighted to have thought up when the Christmas number 1 campaign was still in its infancy and is now being actively encouraged, but quite simply i just haven't found the time (all 4 minutes and 33 seconds) to work on it properly, combine this with the fact that my girlfriend's laptop seems to make an awful lot of noise when it records and it leaves me falling short of the creative vision i had in mind

and so it goes, i have ideas, i consider cover versions, i play out in my head a way to make it sound like my own, give each track a Hunchbakk stamp that makes it recognisable as clearly being one of my interpretations, i did manage it with the xx's vcr, i also made a start on a cover of a rialto song, and i'm still certain that my eventual version of 'many of horror' while be a darn sight better than that wet squib currently being offered up by Matt Cardle (seriously, why?)

but in terms of a festive treat for right now, i'm bringing back, and shall keep bringing it back until amazon or hmv see fit to use it in their christmas advertising campaigns and send a little money my way

if they want it, they'll have to pay for it, but for everybody else the track is available to download absolutely free (just like all my music to date has been) and this year is the first year that the track is available via soundcloud, so please feel free to share it around and spread the cynical christmas cheer by Hunchbakk

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

many of horror

of all the terrible things that i could never have imagined into being, Biffy Clyro bagging themselves a Christmas number 1 via a hammed up and highly inappropriate X-factor cover version is one of them, seriously? i'm still almost entirely sure that this is some kind of practical joke, for so so so many reasons, none of which i shall vent right here and right now

for right now is about retaliation and rehabilitation, and maybe other alliterate verbs, redemption perhaps...

depressingly, first day sales seem to have Simon Cowell on course for reclaiming the Christmas Number 1 spot after losing out last year to Rage Against The Machine and the spirited campaign that captured so much attention (and so many headlines)

but just because the battle may in due course be lost, this doesn't mean that we can't put up a fight and throw a little weight behind one of the similar campaigns that have innevitably cropped up this year

The Family Guy featured song 'Surfin' Bird/Bird is The Word' looks to be the biggest contender, with Biffy Clyro's original also looking strong in the charts so far.

But it is the outsider, the underdog, that i have chosen to get behind, for rather obvious reasons.

Dubbed 'Cage Against The Machine' (see what they did there?), a re-recorded version of John Cage's silent performance piece 4'33" is currently knocking around the lower end of the top 20.

The reasons that i would choose this effort over any others, or choosing any at all is mostly down to the charities supported

one such is the British Tinnitus Association, and i have mentioned on my blog before, i am a tinnitus sufferer myself, meaning that i quite often get a high pitched ringing in my ears due to the damage i have caused to my hearing over the course of far too many gigs and clubs at far too loud volumes

sometimes it is barely noticable, sometimes it comes on strong out of nowhere but gradually fades, and rather ironically, it is when there is silence that it is most obvious that i can't actually hear silence anymore, so 4 and a half minutes of the absence of noise is rather poignant to myself and other tinnitus sufferers

The British Tinnitus Association is not the only overlooked charity that stands to gain from sales of 4'33", and full details can obviously be found on the campaign website

and regardless of musical allegiances and chart positions, it is still important to put your money where your mouth is, if you are going to spout off then back up those words and part with your cash to download the tracks and keep supporting worthy causes

4'33" (Cage Against The Machine Version) is available from Amazon, and remix bundle is also available

4'33" (CATM version) (Fake Blood`s Needle Drop Mix) by RemixAgainstTheMachine

Thursday, 9 December 2010

facsimile of me

looking in the mirror was like seeing a facsimile of me
recognising something of my original self
among the blacks and whites and pallid shades of grey

Friday, 3 December 2010

hail to the underdog

last night, as i finished up Starman Omnibus Vol.1 and read James Robinson's lengthy and enlightening afterword, i was reminded of a quote

i wasn't entirely sure who had said that 'history is written by the winners' (i guess it could have been Shakespeare), but it seemed entirely appropriate as i read the rambling thoughts of Robinson, as he regaled his journey that lead him to the acclaimed run on the '90's incarnation of Starman and the paths he had crossed

and as thought of my own embryonic ideas for a potentially acclaimed comic stories came to mind, and if i will ever actually get round to fully developing my fantastical whims, i also gave thought to how many other stories of creatives have also gone unheard, all those also-rans and ne'er-do-wells that never got to claim the spoils of victory or tell their tales

and it was this mentality that drove me to write my piece on Flo Kirton for the Enfield Advertiser, to give a voice to someone on the other side of the music industry, since your Qs and NMEs are already clogged up with the bands and artists that have made it  and your 'hot tips'

but what happens when the 'next big thing' doesn't get 'big'?

i want my columns to give a different scope from your usual music journalism, of course in a local paper i give a lot of time to local bands, it would be stupid not to, and there are many deserving bands knocking around Enfield, but so much is made of this fantastic future that we're living in, where more and more is available to us, that i want to expose the cracks in this ideal... just because the NME is telling you that 'the next big thing' recorded all their demos in their bedroom, it doesn't mean that Joe Goddard will be knocking down your door wanting to turn you into a popstar just because you own a PC and a little bit of music software

and you'll also find me dipping my toe into the other end of the spectrum, with a recent column on Cheryl Cole and a work in progress on Kanye West, and possibly a sideways glance at Justin Bieber.

but keep your eyes peeled for pieces on my agenda covering The Freewheelin Troubadour, 9BlinD and Deeds of the Dying and a look at the recording habits of Those Handsome Animals and Akira the Don, who recently unleashed a killer mixtape in conjuction with Joey 2tits as he builds towards the release of his second album proper.

 Pyke by Akira The Don stream only
available on the mixtape 'the kidnapping of Akira The Don By Joey 2tits'