New Year's Cheese

Just a quickie to say happy new year, internets!

Evidently I'm starting the year as I mean to go on...

Got a feeling this cheese malarky is gonna catch on in 2010...

Rock & roll!

-- Posted from the iPhone


The show of the holidays for us may well have been the brilliant 'Outnumbered'. I dont want to sound like a comedy snob, but its so good to see a decent, funny series on the BBC. So many in the past few years seem to have been relying on crass, unfunny shock-plots to rake in the laughs. If I see one more BBC Three 'American Pie' ripoff full of talentless twenty-somethings making sex jokes an eight-year-old would be ashamed of, I'm going to take the telly into the bath.

In all seriousness, i think I'm starting to become less creeped out by the idea of fatherhood. Im not planning on getting started anytime soon but if/when i get around to it, I really hope I have kids who are as hilarious as these ones. It's just the baby bit of parenthood i'm not so much looking forward to...

Being set in a white British middle-class family home, the show's also been a great place to spot 'Stuff White People Like', the latest of which was "...decanting cereal into those little pourer things". We never did that in my home so I can't see the merit. Plus, I've always been a fan of cereal box art; the bright colours and words like 'riboflavin' never ceased to wake me up in the morning. And the whole idea of putting toys in the box, I honestly can't understand why they don't do that in other foods. Imagine getting a Power Twins decoder ring with your steak... Living the dream!

Anywho, we're halfway thru the secod series so best get back to it...

-- Posted from the iPhone

Christmas Booty

As we all know, the true meaning of Christmas is presents.

Here are some of mine:

Rode NT1-A Microphone
Large Diaphragm Condenser
(my 'big' present)

As many of you will know, I'm quite the budding musician.  I take great joy in writing, performing and recording music, but I think I view the 'recording' part as a separate musical skill in itself.  As anyone who has ever tried to record their band will know, getting an accurate (or more often than not in today's quantised, auto-tuned mega-compressed music world) representation of your musical efforts is akin to performing the 12 tasks of Hercules.

Nevertheless, I've personally found that I'm learning this skill, bit by bit, and feel I am now progressed to a level whereby I can really use a decent quality mic to capture sounds.  This is one of the best pro-sumer models in the business, used the world over and renowned for its extremely quiet running.  I look forward to sharing recordings I've made in the near future.

Z.Vex 'Fuzz Factory'
'Vexter' series fuzz stompbox
(my 'from me to me' present)

I've only been waiting about 5 years to get one of these bad boys.  Capable of creating everything from smooth, silky fuzz tones, to raspy, velcro-like Muff style snarls, and everything in between.  I think my favourite feature is the amazing self-oscillation of the two new old-stock sixties germanium transistors which make the thing squeal when you twiddle its pots just right.  Luckily the pedal's 'boutique' price tag seems to have kept it just out of the reach of wannabe Matt Bellamy teens, this 'Vexter' model being sold at a reduced price due to it being hand silk-screened as opposed to hand-painted.  What a little beauty!  Looking forward to making it sing!

Korg NanoKontrol
Portable MIDI-Controller
(from Gramma's money)

This little guy will complete my trio of Korg Nano controllers.  9 separate channels each featuring a fader, pan-pot and solo/mute buttons, along with a small transport control section, enough to rough-mix or finally get around to learning Ableton Live.
Great for throwing in my bag with my laptop when recording/performing on the go.  And a great portable complement to the AlphaTrack DAW controller I purchased last month!  Thanks Gramma!

Nintendo GameBoy Micro
Handheld games console
I was never a portable gamer, and never owned a GameBoy.  Shocking, I know.  I owned a Sony PSP for a short time, but after the novelty had worn off, I imported a JAP DSlite and we've had some really good times.  I only recently realised how small these GB Micros were, and they're going for cheap on the 'Bay.  Picked this one up, boxed with a few games/carry case, for £30.  Bargainous!

Left4Dead 2
Team-based Zombie Apocalypse Shooter
(from money afforded by generous Aunt Ruth)

Having rented this game from a games rental service I subscribe to, and having spent many fun-filled hours punching hot buckshot holes in torsos of the undead with a few of my favourite friends, I knew I wanted  to own it outright at some point.  So when I saw a preowned copy in my local CeX going for a song, I couldn't resist!

My Xbox Live username is:


If you're so inclined, add me to your friends list and together we shall roam what's left of the United States, double-tapping wave upon wave of the living dead.

Alan Partridge
The Complete Collection
(a sneak-attack present from Bickle)

The best presents are the ones you don't expect.  This collection of one of my favourite comedy characters of all time contains the two 'I'm Alan Partridge' series (both of which I already own - but can now trade in for something else!) and the fictional talk show 'Knowing Me, Knowing You...With Alan Partridge', most of which I haven't actually seen in full!  So this will undoubtedly provide many hours of hilarity of the highest calibre.

I also purchased a last-minute gift which has yet to arrive.  I'd say it was an impulse buy but it's not like it was near a checkout...  I'm going to write a post about it sometime next week, so won't say anything about it now, but suffice to say... It's a games console.  It's a games console I've never owned before.  In fact, this console will be the first I've ever owned by this particular manufacturer....tbc............

I feel I did awfully well on presents this year.  It should be noted that this is probably the largest amount of 'cool stuff' I've ever received, I may even have overdone it with presents bought for myself out of money kindly offered to me by generous relatives etc.  But hey, Christmas comes but once a year!

For a more serious thought on Christmas (read: boring), please refer to my new blog project, The Warmup Act.


I'd just like to say - I saw the new James Cameron movie 'Avatar' yesterday.  I wasn't expecting to love it, but it was quite great.

I'm not a massive fan of 'fantasy' stuff, but this had just enough sci-fi appeal to interest me.  My greatest excitement came from what a technological marvel the whole thing was, visually.  The entire movie must have been something like 85% CG work, but it was the first time I felt able to suspend my disbelief sufficiently enough to enjoy the whole thing.  Usually I'm a little put off by bits that don't look 100 percent, but the entirety of this film seemed to be right on the money.

Truly an epic.  See it in 3D or don't see it at all.

ChristMixTape 2009

Just in case anybody missed it, my annual Christmas mixtape is complete for this year, and available for free download from this site:

The tracklisting is as follows:

  1. Elf - Santa's Coming
  2. My Chemical Romance - All I Want For Christmas Is You 
  3. Darlene Love - All Alone On Christmas 
  4. Cartel - Rocking Around The Christmas Tree 
  5. Julian CasablancasI Wish It Was Christmas Today 
  6. Tom Petty - Christmas All Over Again 
  7. Marv - Suck Brick, Kid! 
  8. The Brian Setzer Orchestra - The Nutcracker Suite 
  9. The Drifters - White Christmas 
  10. Bing Crosby - Its Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas
  11. Vince Guaraldi - Linus And Lucy 
  12. Clark Griswald - "Last Minute Gift Ideas" 
  13. The Barenaked Ladies - Green Christmas 
  14. Death Cab For Cutie - Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) 
  15. Sufjan Stevens - Joy To The World 
  16. Herbert The Pervert - Silent Night 
  17. The Incomparable Peanut - It'll Be Zooey This Christmas 
  18. The Star Wars Singers - R2-D2 We Wish You A Merry Christmas
  19. Beach Boys - Little Saint Nick 
  20. Johnny Cash - O Come All Ye Faithful 
  21. Weezer - We Wish You A Merry Christmas 
  22. Kevin McCallister - Thirsty For More 
  23. John Williams - Merry Christmas 
  24. Jimmy Eat World - If You Were Born Today 
  25. Morten Lauridsen - O Magnum Mysteriu

If you've read through that list and are too lazy to scroll back up to the link, fear not - I'm a lazy ass too.  You can click these words to download the mixtape as a ZIP file.

Happy Holidays   Xmas    Merry Christmas!

The Age Of Conjecture EP

So the other night I happened upon a folder I had thought lost for some time, containing twenty or so demos of songs I had written over my teenage years.  They are, understandably, angsty, and rather than leaving them to fester until writer's block sets in during the recording of my band's difficult third album, and with the label screaming down the phone to pull something out of the bag a week before the release date I find them and put them on the record, I thought it better I exorcise them now.

And what better time to record them than Christmas?  While they're not at all 'festive' in nature, I'm hopefully going to have plenty of R&R time over the holiday period, as well as a shiny new condenser microphone to capture every cracking bum-note that emanates from my pipes.  I've already begun, recording 7 basslines and 7 guide-guitar parts (the instruments I can't take home with me over the holidays) so that I can hopefully do guitars, vox, keys and other misc. instruments, plus mix them all while I'm at home.

The preliminary tracklisting contains such emo staples as:

  1. Grace-Minded
  2. Conjecture (will be glad to see the back of this one...)
  3. Get Off (This Parachute Is A Knapsack)
  4. This Work
  5. Fifth Wheel
  6. Existency
  7. Times Two

Also thiiiiiinking about recording the first song I ever wrote (the computergeek-emo inspired 'Please Wait...') as a bonus track, but will probably only feature after 50 minutes of track silence to ensure as few people as possible hear it....

I'm recording as 'The Incomparable Peanut' at the moment; a moniker I borrowed from 'The Incomparable Ainsley Jarvis', a transvestite cabaret singer from Peter Sellers' 1976 comedy masterpiece, 'The Pink Panther Strikes Again'.  It's the only name I've ever appeared under at live solo performances (of which there have been very few), and I'm not sure I will stick with it.  I do, however, feel a certain leaning towards making music by myself of late, probably brought about by my frustration from not having a band practice in so long.  I've never ever wanted to perform alone, and don't think I'd ever become a 'solo artist' - that's just not where the magic happens, for me.  I like to be able to play off other members, to feed on their own musical tastes etc... But as much as I'd love to be able to rely on others for  writing and recording it just seems to make more sense to go it alone right now.  I don't want to be 30 and not have made any progress since I was 20, and I feel like if I'm waiting around for band momentum to grow into a recording, I could be waiting forever.

So now that I'm starting to get more into a place where I have the means and skills to make decent recordings by myself, I think I'll try and concentrate on them more and hope that they lead to live performances with a band somehow...

Anyway.  Stay tuned....

A Transposition...

From now on I will be web-logging my life from this site here.

From June 2004 to December 2009 I posted with ever-decreasing frequency at this site here:

There were some good times, there were some great times.  And those times shall continue.

Let's go.