Friday, 24 February 2012

'resurrecting' Hunchbakk

he may not have died.

but Hunchbakk seems to have been buried for a while.

the idea of 'Hunchbakk' has evolved and changed, and a new persona has been developed for musical dabblings, and the name 'Hunchbakk' has slowly been shrugged off like a shroud in favour of 'the new me'.

but Hunchbakk is not over.

there is unfinished business.
there are unfinished tracks.

there is an unfinished album.

let me backtrack slightly, start this story again from it's initial viewpoint, you see, it had been clattering around my mind for a little while, and an email informing me that one of my tracks on soundcloud had almost reached its download limit (as recounted in my previous post) only served to weigh in on the thoughts that i had been having.  thinking about my music. who i am. and where i am. and where i can be found.

or more precisely, where my tracks can be found.

my first forays into music were knocked together using a playstation2, and i first hid behind them in my Hunchbakk persona on myspace in 2006.

a second collection of tracks followed suit, and since then it is hard to recollect how things have changed, but one thing is for certain, no matter how barren or how fruitful the days, weeks, months and years since have been, i have continued to make music in some way, shape, or form.

some tracks were loaded up to myspace, or promoted through the myspace blog, and then through this very blog, uploaded to fileden, or other file-sharing sites, and most recently soundcloud.  and i have questioned whether i should find my way to having a bandcamp page.

and all of this led me to give serious consideration to a blog post regarding, and possibly compiling 'the complete Hunchbakk'

and this is where both trails of this blog collide.

how can i possibly present the complete Hunchbakk, when the story of Hunchbakk is not yet complete.

and sadly, some digging and maybe a little bit of voodoo will be needed in order to resurrect Hunchbakk, as although i may have moved on and simply kept making music, there are still unreleased tracks that were (and hopefully still are) destined for the debut album that had begun to take shape which have suffered at the hands of my malfunctioning machine.

i have recounted the details of my ongoing battles with this wretched, evil and incompetent computer, and i have told of how it was revived and the data recovered, although now it is scattered across numerous DVDs of information that i failed to save in any logical way, making the effort needed to re-piece these tracks back together quite an almighty and time consuming task, that is if it is possible at all.

i won't give up hope on them.

a lot of time, and a lot of passion went into what i hoped would represent me, or at least a version of me, and i gave great thought to how the tracks would flow and sound together.  i think i may have managed to create something like 7 tracks out of what i believed would end up as a full length 12 track album.

so i shall attempt to 'resurrect' Hunchbakk

even if it is only so i can put the guise to rest.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

you do love me

it was as a special valentines day treat that i released a free download of VCR, a cover of the XX song, on february 14th 2010

(back when i was still loading my music up to fileden for sharing)

and last week, nearly two years on from its initial debut i received an email from my soundcloud account informing me that that same song had reached its limit of 100 downloads.

ok, i'm only a small dust particle blowing around in this indescribably huge music business, what i do, i do for fun, and as a hobby, as a passion.  i don't imagine a career as a musician being forthcoming.  but for one of my tracks to be on the hard-drives, iPods or iPhones of 100 people, that is something of a milestone that i am proud to have achieved.

i was thrilled when my remix of The Enemy went global, and bloody astounded when my remix of Radiohead was downloaded something like 5000 times in its first week, and it may be a slow burner, but this cover version is clearly something that at least 100 people felt strongly enough about to click that little download tab that has now been disabled.

with 2053 plays to date, i am still extremely proud of how this track in particular has performed, and the fact that it has completely outshone my spoken word version that i created after my girlfriend cringed all the way through the original version i created and insisted it would be much better if i did not sing.

of course, with just 3 downloads and 82 plays to date, the spoken word version is still available to download for those that may wish to sample it for themselves

which also leads me to wonder if i should not have listened to her when i chose to make a video for the spoken word version and not my sung version, if i can still find the remains of the video on my crippled computer i may need to do something about redressing the balance and restoring it to the most favoured interpretation of VCR.

so thanks guys, thanks whoever you are that have enjoyed my tracks so far, i know i've been rambling on about other things on my blog and really have not produced enough new music recently, but hopefully you'll be sticking around

(and i love you too)

Friday, 10 February 2012

Tinnitus Awareness Week 2012

i don't buy the red tops on matter of principle

but many people that i know do, and i will still find myself flicking through the pages of absurd, lowest common denominator news and celebrity tittle tattle

so it is with some surprise that i occasionally find The Sun actually broaching a serious subject that more people need to be aware of, it is just such a shame that the real story they should be covering is always so brief

and as we near the end of another Tinnitus Awareness week, i thought i should do my duty to highlight the problem again, after my initial piece published in 2010

it was also in 2010 that i read a short article regarding Black Eyed Peas head honcho, producer and solo artist,, admitting that he was suffering from tinnitus, a high pitched ringing in the ears that is caused by prolonged exposure to loud music, and is common among musicians, DJs, clubbers and gig-goers

sadly the article swiftly shifted the focus onto his much-rumoured relationship with Cheryl Cole and his staunch support of that years X-Factor contestant, Cher Lloyd (an expanded article, including more name dropping, but also an opinion from The Sun doctor can be found here)

and then, just last week, almost perfectly timed to coincide with the annual campaign to highlight the causes and prevention of Tinnitus, N-Dubz lead and now solo-artist, Dappy revealed that due to his severe tinnitus he has now had small speakers installed around his bed to play soothing background noises, so that he is less aware of the constant ringing that is most obvious, and often frustrating, when you realise that you can no longer hear 'silence'.

of course, the newspaper was more interested in getting there jolleys by mocking his band's music and thinking up a shockingly bad rhyming headline rather than providing any real support or advice for anyone that may find themselves in a similar situation to and Dappy.

suffering since 2004 myself, i was relieved when i was first handed a leaflet about earplugs while at Glastonbury, not feeling quite so alone and happy to be pointed in the right direction for where to find advice and suitable hearing protection

and i believe that as a duty to fans and gig goers, more should be said about the causes and effects of Tinnitus so that people can hopefully spot the signs early enough to spare themselves the fate shared by not only Dappy and, but also Bono, Trent Reznor, Pete Townsend and Moby, among many others

more information about Tinnitus and Tinnitus Awareness Week can be found in this article by the great Eddy TM and on the British Tinnitus Association website

Saturday, 4 February 2012

more musings and hero worship

fanatics, fanboys, geeks.

whatever you want to call them, these are the people that hold art and culture dearest, and these are the people that it is dangerous to mess with.

get it right, and they will continue to sing your praises.

get it wrong, even just a minor mis-step, and some fanboys find it very hard to be forgiving.

this is certainly the case whether it is music geeks, film geeks, or, as proved recently by the 'Before Watchmen' debacle, comic geeks.

and i think the truth behind these issues is that as fans, we want our heroes and our icons to be infallible.

and when we start dealing with sequels, or prequels, or a follow up of some sort, you are running a risk.

you are increasing the chances of a work held in high esteem becoming tainted, or lessened somehow.

there is also the chance that an original premise could be improved upon, but when people have such an emotional investment in these works you are also gambling with people's memories.

we often have our personal reasons for such deep investment, some that go deeper than others, whether it is an album that saw your through a particularly rough patch in your life or reminds you of fond memories, or perhaps it is a film or a story that just connected with you, or opened your eyes to something you had not experienced before.

these are the types of feelings and emotions that people connect to art.

we could be talking about Greedo shooting first in the Star Wars special editions, the introduction of Jar Jar Binks and midichlorians in The Phantom Menace, we could be talking about the movie adaption of The Da Vinci Code or the long-threatened American remake of Akira, it could be Jay-Z's Blueprint 2 (and 3), it could any modern take on an old idea, whether it is the Wicker Man or Star Trek,  and it could be the increasing expectations for Christopher Nolan's final instalment in his Dark Knight trilogy.

and we are most definitely talking about Before Watchmen.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

break the internet in half

it was in october of last year that i was starting getting edgy.

i had just heard some bad news.

the article was titled 'the phone call that confirmed Watchmen 2'

and i read it, with fear

a couple of previous posts had talked creative teams involved and it all felt more real.

but Bleeding Cool seemed to be the only place suggesting this, other blogs rubbished the idea as a shock tactic to generate traffic, apparently they had said something similar a couple of years ago and nothing materialised.

one particular quote resonated....

Darwyn Cook, when asked what he was currently working on, answered that he couldn't say, but that it "would break the internet in half"

fast forward


Mayans apparently predict the end of the world

scarily, they may have got it right, as on February 1st, the internet broke in half

straining and cracking under the weight of all the angst and ire generated by geeks around the globe.

the day that DC comics announced their 'Before Watchmen' project.

6 mini-series focusing on the back-stories of individual characters and on the original Minutemen, followed by a one-shot would tie an overbearing story arc together, in addition, there would also be a back-up 'pirate' feature that runs across the issues.

and with a heavy heart, i must admit that this seemed inevitable, much like someone coming along to transfer a favourite comic or book onto the big screen (whoops, they already tried that with Watchmen, didn't they), we must recognise this for the money-making scheme that it is first and foremost.

DC comics, as part of Warner Brothers, is a business, a money hungry destructive business that only has it's sights set on one goal, making more money than it already has.

DC already survived a major shake-up last year when it announced plans to 're-set' a lot of its comic book history, wiping the slate clean for some characters (although not for all) and renumbering all of their issues from number 1 again, this got a lot of fans angry and up in arms about the whole move and the way fans were being treated, yet, when all was said and done, these new issues sold by the ton, reprints of all first issues were needed and the market share was captured.

and we can even look at this now as testing the water, to see how many fans truly did drop off, or how many simply moaned about the whole thing, yet bought regardless, possibly bought more out of curiosity.

if they could do this with DC's main players, the heavy hitters, the whole damn universe, then why would their next target not be Watchmen.

and the geeks have only brought it upon themselves.

there was never going to be a boycott of the new 52, not one that mattered anyway.

and similarly, sales of Before Watchmen will probably be through the roof.

i can't deny, they have brought some top talent on board to handle this rather sensitive subject, and no doubt, these creators will have the utmost respect for Alan Moore's vision, who in comics wouldn't? and when you get that call, asking you to be involved in a massive high-profile project that will no doubt earn you a fair few quid, i'm sure you would rather ride that thing than let the opportunity slip past you, into the hands of someone else that you may not trust with the comic book's rich legacy.  whether any or all of the creative teams involved can do the stories justice will have to wait to be seen.

i'm sure, out of the entire project, that we will see at least a couple of good yarns, heck, they may even pull this thing out the bag without dropping the ball at all.

but that doesn't mean that i'm happy about it.

(but that doesn't mean i'm not curious too)