Saturday, 31 December 2011

counting down

ok, we all know what's going down tonight, and we've just about finalised what we're gonna be doing tonight, which isn't much to be honest, but anything to do with New Years Eve must involve a tremendous amount of mucking around so that you can subscribe to the cliche that New Years Eve must be an amazing celebration

and since december is nearly over once again, we must wait another 11 months before it is officially ok to watch Elf again, so let tune into the sweet sounds of Zooey Deschanel teaming up with 500 days of summer co-star Joseph Gordon-Lovett

this video, along with a couple of free mp3s and looks towards 2012 can be found over at my music blog Desperately Seeking Susan Boyle

and i'll see you all on the other side....

have a good one

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

all wrapped up

well, i've done my celebrating and eating (and more eating) and taken my little sabbatical from checking websites and social networks that really shouldn't be a part of anybody's christmas celebrations, so i thought i would pop back in to share a little of how my holidays were constructed

my brother has already revealed his intentions of never paying for wrapping paper ever again, and he supplied me and my girlfriend with some wonderful presents this year, including a magnetic black knight who now adorns our fridge (in four pieces)

of course, it is the giving that is more important than the receiving, and i think that i managed to undertake all of my christmas shopping without breaking the bank (if you ignore the bundles of money that we must have spent stocking up our food and drinks cupboards in preperation, which still remain, for the most part, well stocked)

this has meant that i have been in and out of charity shops and picked up a number of good quality bits and pieces in order to keep costs down, not only that, but i had a part in handmaking a gift and a couple of soft toys that were given as presents, not only has this given me pleasure to do, but it means that these presents were unique and thoughtful and were appreciated as such

and for members of my family, that i tend to only see once a year and do not really have a great insight into their tastes and preferences, i would be a fool for spending a fortune on shit that they may not even like and may end up given to charity.

so instead i go straight to the charity shop with the intention that if they really are not keen on it, the charity shop will have benefited twice

the board games went down well one year, as did the books that i bought (well, i presume so from their reactions anyway)

this was was perhaps not quite so successful.

it seemed a natural progression to buy them all CDs.

like i've said, i do not know their tastes and preferences, so i instead searched high and low for some music that i would like to recommend and perhaps turn them onto.

by now, my cousin's Bowie loving husband will have opened his Robbie Williams CD.

my cousins seemed thoroughly uncertain of Artful Dodger's All About The Stragglers and George Martin's In My Life collection of Beatles covers

Artful Dodger Mini Mix :)

and i'm not even sure my aunty and uncle even thanked me their respective presents of Macy Gray's On How Life Is and Dashboard Confessional's Places You Have Come To Fear The Most

after taking out the CD and perusing the inlay booklet, he still seemed none the wiser (and no more grateful)

he did mumble a little while later that it was a shame that he did not have a dashboard to get it working on....

oh dear, better luck next year i guess...

Saturday, 17 December 2011

what's the worst that could happen?

the last couple of articles i submitted to the Enfield Advertiser that were unjustly ignored did not cover a local angle, and i wonder if maybe this contributed to the reason they were not picked up to run, or perhaps they just shunned them regardless.

so i'm making one last ditch attempt to see if my local newspaper has any interest in actually featuring stories on local bands, by submitting this piece on Worst Case Scenario that i have just run over on my music blog Desperately Seeking Susan Boyle

and just to keep you up to date on what i've got going on over there i thought i'd bring it to your attention over here too

so give these guys a listen....

in a band?


don't worry about it.

shunning expensive studio time, Worst Case Scenario show local bands how it should be done, self recording and self releasing their debut EP.

'Lost In The Element', available through iTunes, is a clear indication of a D.I.Y ethos prevailing and proving how a clear talent and determination can shine through and give hope to other bedroom musicians.

Formed in 2005, Worst Case Scenario have garnered six years of experience performing live and becoming a well respected act amongst Enfield's musical community, and it is these years, along with a recent roll-call shake-up that has lead to the long overdue recording of 6 tracks, that were released in late October.

A laptop with Cubase was set up, a microphone was borrowed, £10 was invested in a pop-shield, a mic-stand was improvised by taping the microphone to the side of a door, and some friends and family were roped in to provide shouted vocal takes that were recorded onto a phone before being added to the final mix

and yet, aside from the EP's interesting and inspiring creation, the music speaks clearly for itself.

Mostly a mid-tempo affair with a number of crowning flourishes, the tracks featuring on 'Lost in the Element' connects the dots between a number of disparate influences, touching on the sounds of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Paramore and KT Tunstall amongst others.

As the EP plays through the opening 'Intro' and into 'Point of No Return' the band lay down their wares as a serious band with considerable talent, showcasing a tooled-up acoustic sound that permeates throughout the release.

with 'Save Myself' and 'This Is Your Truth' the strength of these mature songs, belying the youthfulness of the band, holds strong, whilst the musical direction simmers down until it reaches the stripped back, yet overwhelming, stand-out track, 'Whole Again'.

The EP seems to hinge on 'Whole Again', taking in the listener as the the pace has eased through four tracks out of six, only to be hit by a breathtakingly beautiful track that is all the more fragile through the sliding contrasts that have lead to that very point.

leaving us with only the closing salvo of 'Throw It Away' to once again kick things up a notch and round out an accomplished EP that signposts a promising future for Worst Case Scenario.

It may not have the professional sheen that these songs are clearly deserving of, but this is only the cherry on the top of a very pleasing cake that is missing,  it is still a powerful set of songs recorded and released in a manner that is a testament to one young band's capabilities and conviction.

 stream: Worst Case - Whole Again

Monday, 12 December 2011

it's beginning to look a lot like christmas

oh yeah

the christmas tree is up, personally picked and felled in the beautiful landscapes of Morrison's carpark

so it is about that time of year again where i whip off my kit and and allow you to download (for free, i know it has been a tough year for you) my cynical christmas single

and since we are living in a more environmentally aware age, you will be pleased to know that i have been recycling this song since 2008, and that this wonderful digital download has not been manufactured in china and transported across oceans by carbon monoxide fumes

with every year that passes, my sentiments that i sarcastically put into this song strengthen, sick of the christmas that we are having marketed at us every late october through december

help yourself

and please feel free to share

Hunchbakk -


Wednesday, 7 December 2011

what draft? first draft?

ok, i'm sticking with this writing theme for just a little longer, until i get distracted by reading comics or something at least.

and i had been asking what happens next.

when i first discovered the notion of NaNoWriMo, it was on a BBC Breakfast feature, with a couple of authors sat on the couch next to the hosts.

they talked about the lost opportunities of all those that had ever considered writing a novel, and i counted myself among them, and they talked of using these 30 days to just write anything, just to keep writing, and i did, and they talked about taking that first draft, and giving yourself a break from it, and returning to it in january to edit your first draft, create a second draft, possibly edit that later in the year, and so forth, until it if done.

first draft?


yeah, ok, i guess it is.

but keep whittling away at it, time and time again?  i have conceded to the idea that it will need editing, it was slapped together so hastily that, above all else, it does need a second look to eliminate all spelling and grammatical errors (unless they were intentional), but i've been giving more thought to this...

i may change my mind, but i'm unsure if my 'novel', my NaNovel if you wish, really needs 'editing'.

i think it may well go through a number of changes if it is called for, and some of it most certainly is a bit of a mess, but it is my mess, and maybe, just maybe, i'm a messy worker.

some of the thoughts that spilt forth from my mind, splashed across this novel, may have no real place in modern literature, but why should i let a little thing like that stop me.

this is not my money-maker, this is not my retirement fund, this was a writing exercise, thas was fun (sometimes), and rewarding.  and i may even self-publish it.

but i like it the way it is.

my writing has always existed that way.  almost like an impulse.
to be acted upon.   and then that is it usually.

i read Roger McGough's autobiography a few years back, and was surprised to read that he writes poetry and revisits it and revises it accordingly, working on it until it is complete.

and i was shocked.

not once had i tried to write my poetry this way. i had never even considered it.
so i tried it.  and i didn't really like it.

and last year i wrote my first ever 'short story'.  in one sitting.  and had no desire to change a thing.

perhaps i am foolish for considering my work finished.

or perhaps that is just my style.

perhaps i'll find out in january when i attempt to re-read my very first 'novel'.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

cosmic odyssey

and now i am just wondering where to go next.

i did spend the few days after completing my NaNovel not really knowing what to do with myself, knocking out a blog entry, but other than that, feeling slightly lost without the crutch of frantic and near-constant writing to lean on.

i could feel how devoting so much time to it had seemed to have given my life purpose, and how blocking out practically everything else (plus the looming deadline) had given me a strong focus.

sadly i feel it slipping away from me already, as 'normal' life creeps back in and all the jobs i had put off until i had finished writing now needed doing.

in addition to housework etc, there is still some more home improvements that need further advancing (if not finishing) before christmas, mix in my intentions to record another christmas single, a follow up to my 2008 effort, and also wanting to learn to play guitar a little more competently and my time is soon spent.  and then there is the full time job that i will need to fit all of this around.

i've also made promises of a couple of reviews of Enfield bands that need to go up on Desperately Seeking Susan Boyle sometime soonish and seeing if the Enfield Advertiser will go on ignoring pieces submitted on local acts by a local journalist, which i probably can't do until i've rewired some speakers, and i guess i've got my work cut out for me yet again.

progress on the NaNovel will wait for now, i'll take another look at it in January perhaps, give myself some distance from it and return to it fresh in the new year to work on a second draft, but for now my girlfriend is reading her way through it, and i am preparing a pdf copy to fire off to a handful of people for judgement.

and if i could find the time to write 50,000 words in just 29 days, i really haven't got much of an excuse for infrequent blogging, have i?