Watch Your Own Back...

Allow me to briefly introduce you to my latest project, Silent Age.
A lot of the recent silence on this blog is due to most of my spare time being taken up by writing, re-writing, recording, re-recording, mixing, re-writing, re-recording, re-mixing.... this project.

The project will be released as an EP titled SYMBOLIC RETRIBUTION set for release in October on independent D-I-Y label tapes (http://tapeshq.tumblr.com/). It will be available as a limited edition tape cassette (run of 30) and as a digital download (infinite, I think). The cassette will come with both a free poster and a free digital download.

I have no four track and the only microphone I have is built in to my apple macintosh computer. I have no digital interface leads (just yet) so guitar/vocals/hand claps/whistles have to be performed, at my computer screen, standing at various distances depending on dynamics and pitch of instrument. This whole process is figured out by trail and error. The whole thing is then mixed in garage band, then sent to itunes where it sounds nothing like it did in garage band and so sent back and re-mixed again. This whole process is also figured out by trail and error. It's sort of getting there now. All tracks are nearing their finalised state.



I even had time to design the artwork and make a music video which you can watch here http://www.youtube.com/user/mandiocious


This song is called Old Romantic. It's about bad judgment, misogyny, vindictiveness and the anatomy. Perhaps best heard through ear phones.

Old Romantic (demo) by mandiocious

Gonna Be Big...

This weeks two songs to make you say yeah come from a couple of new(ish) bands.

This first one has already made it to the NME and are on the borders of being over hyped. They used to hold a regular slot at An Outlet Manchester. The last Saturday of every month, we would
be a part of something special, the brotherhood, whilst sipping in a coffee-tail (Old Man and the Sea, espresso, sugar, vodka, amerrtto, ice). I was privileged enough to be there, watching the crowd grow each week. Eventually busting out of this small cafe and performing in the foyer of the office block to which it was attached. And if you were there from the beginning, when the hipsters, A and R men and label representatives crowded round four 17 year olds playing in complete darkness but for a couple of sets of fairy lights; if you were on the front row hoping to god the excitable bassist doesn't knock your teeth out with the head of his bass; if you were there, you couldn't help but think as each week it somehow got bigger, a sort of circus, this was all slightly contrived. There was a bigger brain behind WU LYF and myself and a couple of others had our ears to the ground, knew the right people. We unraveled the mystery pretty quickly, but kept it quiet and began to admire the prowess of their manager. When I was little the idea of being a detective appealed to me, everything became something that needed a magnifying glass and a stealth P.I. It was all thanks to this series of books I was hooked to called The Mystery Kids (I fancied the curtain haired illustration of a boy, and wanted to be the illustration of the older girl.) And the point of this nostalgia? I still love a good enigma. Wrap yourself up in mystery and watch me drool. This is exactly what WU LYF had in the beginning a complete "we don't give a shit" aura of mystery. And now the secret is out, enjoy some Heavy Pop...



You can download free WU LYF tracks via last.fm
Un-raveling the WU LYF mystery ... The Pigeon Post
http://worldunite.org/


Next is a newly discovered band. Guards I know absolutely nothing about them. I think they are from Brooklyn.


You can download Guards Ep for free via Bandcamp

Me and My Void

(alt title, Not Another Cheap Soul Bearing Post... Really, It's not)

This void on which we stand gets bigger and bigger. It started small, a nothingness, somewhere; we were aware but couldn't see exactly where it was, it was just there. It will close up one day, there is no doubt about that. It was just one of those things. Banging on about time being the greatest poly-filler for unseen but sensed voids, the problem with time is that you have to sit upon its thorned back and ride it until it seizes to penetrate you. A discomforting notion, that fills me with a sort of comfort all the same. I look all gooey eyed to a period of time where recent past becomes a jolly form of nostalgia as opposed to this stagnant mess I now glare at. Time will separate us, eventually. Like it never happened, like it was a film we once saw but never acted in. Time will doubtlessly retract it's current thorns but what will grow in it's place is that which makes me fearful. Will this happen again? And again and again.


The void grew and sort of vortexed and we'd wake up, sometimes our heads would hurt and we'd grow dizzy and remain as weary as when we fell asleep, others... we'd be ok and just take extra care with our footing. And, you know, it's fine, it's going to shrink sooner or later, it's just a momentary void. We dance around it like acrobats, juggling our thoughts and ideas across the plane, across the circus ring. And we'll laugh about it one day. How ungraceful we were. For now though, it is still here. I rearrange furniture every day to avoid slipping. I lost so much already. And still it grows. Now it is so big, I forget what that small something was that caused it. It is so big that I am able to walk through it, sit in it, muse in it. It is quite mesmerising really. People walk past it and admire it's blank plainness. I am able to wave at you sat in yours. We are able to joke about it, shout about it, take the piss out of it.

Then something sinister happened, the void grew legs, it began to follow us around. There was no escaping it. The places we visited seemed empty. It wasn't ours, it lacked faces. I held it's hand as I crossed the road heading to work. I speak to customers, it taps me on the shoulder, gives me digs, I look into the hole, the memories stagnate, it whispers "Is this you? Who are you?" And I laugh internally at my own facade and fear that the void will one day spread and become me.


The easiest thing to do when sitting in a void is to distract yourself. Thankfully we are talented, skilled and perfectly able to make something out of nothing. The blog is an undeniable distraction. Although lately I turn to it and the void has a firm grasp on my fingers. I look at them almost with disgust. If this were a piece of paper it would be a different matter. But it isn't. There are certain things I just can not allow myself to write about publicly at present, everything else becomes a worthless post, the publish button does not get hit. There is another way though, another expression, one the void cannot touch, one whose boundaries are only tested by my ability and clumsiness. Music. Aided with garage band, my Mac's internal mic, a guitar, a key board and my own experience, I have written and recorded my next project (hear an extract). And this expression is no more personal, but it feels better as a form of release. About everything. About the void. So please excuse my silence.
 

This void is filling now with more and more apprehension as September looms. For those who never left education, it is not spring that brings the new, it is autumn. (How long until they discover that I am a fake? They will rumble me. A familiar anxiety is taking hold, and I can already see their eyes looming downwards.) The unexpected is upon us. We may start to doubt ourselves, our talents, our skills, our thoughts. Remember that no one can invade that part of you, that is personal, that belongs to us. I get the feeling I am a wild card, but there is nothing wrong with that. Have faith in what you know. Hold on to yourself. Hold on very tightly. The void is starting to close, and I cannot remember what lies beyond.

When you step back from it all, when you are not blinded by panic, you can breathe. Things slowly focus. Age gaps, more education, masses of experience, more money, a real profession, being proper. None of this makes one being more valid than another, we all live, we are all alive and we are all experiencing constantly. An ex-tutor, Sue Platt, once said to me "You'll meet many different people, from many different backgrounds, they may be richer, more well spoken, have read more books, known more people, live in grand houses, none of that stuff matters. All that matters is what you know. Be confident in what you know and don't worry about the others." These are those who will be filling the void. Excitement builds and with white knuckles I will hang onto myself... I will move around like a tiger on vaseline....