Saturday, July 2, 2011

Aye Sea Yoo?

Blogs are for words, but I'm kinda drunk and the maker has shut down for a rare instant....enjoy the autotune...I see you...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Old Man Pant's

      After the relative success of the "Fat Lip Boys" experiment, Glam and I were eager to write and record some new tunes. Armed only with Glam's Gibson acoustic, our voices, and the condenser mic on Glam's Macbook, we reworked the riff from "Pretty Vacant" by  the Sex Pistols into something Glen Matlock would hate. The title came from our observation of William New's classic pant and shoe look and Glam's refusal to wear anything but hemp trousers and the same yellowy wool sweater you can see in every video except this one.
      Glam seemed to take exception to Richard Hell's "Blank Generation" by stating that he gives not a damn about it as well as a lack of liquor and poverty in general. The drawings stem from Glam's last visit to Montreal a couple of months before I hightailed it out of the river city to my new winter nesting ground in Victoria B.C. We scrawled some likenesses of each other on high art foolscap one night and I happened to take some photos of them so we had visual fodder for song number two in our now burgeoning collection.
      Listening back to it now, I can hear that we used the same drumbeat in "tree song" but hell, there are only so many boom whap beats in the garageband library. Having both been born in 1962, we settled on 162 beats per minute as our new standard tempo although eventually even that became too slow for our amphetamine hearts.
    "Put away those old man pant's"

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Morningstar and Lean an' Mean Together Forever



        Well, I've finally gotten around to my excuse for re-posting all the songs. The tune above I had inadvertently forgotten to include which is weird because it was supposed to follow the song "Morningstar" in sequence. The reason: that vocal hook/chorus that comes right at the end of it had so enamoured Glam and I that we decided we needed to include it in the intro of our next masterpiece, a snappy little number called "Lean an' Mean". It didn't matter that the new song was in the key of A versus G, we just transposed it up a note and re-sang it in the intro to the new song. I have personally never employed such a songwriting trick before and am not really aware of anyone else doing it either because it's kinda weird, but maybe I'm wrong and it is very commonly done.

       Anyway, the first tune was patched together in pieces, with the stolen bits coming mostly courtesy of the Flaming Groovies, whose crazy singer, Roy A Loney, I was trying to imitate in in the boogie down/grunting and screaming section.Glam arrived back at the house and the only space really left for singing was in the bridge so he quickly scribbled some dribbles and launched right into it. The resulting "scary voice" was one I had not heard Glam employ before but I liked it because it kinda frightened me. We had the song pretty well done when for some reason we thought we should sing over the one non vocalized section of music still left. The result was the "morningstar" chorus mentioned above. Glam and I now deemed this the best part of the song and I suggested we include it the next tune as well, just because I wanted to hear it again. And we did just that, as you can hear above. The results were somewhat mixed, but who cares really, it's all in the doing.

      There is a further incestuousness to the song in that I only had enough lyrics for the verses and nothing for second part so I scooped up one of Glam scribbles entitled "tree song" or something and sang the words over the that section of the song. It was good enough for me but if you listen to whole song cycle ( a daunting task I know) you will hear these lyrics pop up repeatedly, most specifically in the tune"Tree Song" but not limited to that one.

       I think the flicks stem from the first actual video footage from the trusty LG cellphone. Up until then we had been using the six-shooter function to get continuous footage, but assembling it the movie maker was labourious at best. It happened to be Chinese New Year in old Victoria so that's where the footage comes from. The lean an mean stuff is shot on the bike trail up to Thetis Lake, the "galloping goose" as it's known.

       Well, that's the fascinating tale behind the pairing, and should we ever release this ragged collection, they are going to have to be sequenced thusly....there's an awkward sentence for ya

       "All I want is the morningstar"




Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Back to the Beginning

I have just realized that in my haste to get all the tunes up here, I had inadvertently forgotten to put up "lean and mean". This kinda sucks cuz it had a a connection to "morningstar" but more on that later. Anyway, since I've figured out how to make the videos bigger, I thought I would go back to the beginning and do some splainin' about the birth of the recording. When I got to Victoria last November I brought a laptop and mbox to do some recording with Glam. Unfortunately I had the wrong operating system, so as were glumly sitting around contemplating this, we turned on Glam's little 512MB memory macbook and opened up garageband. We quickly surmised we were able to record acoustic guitar and a boom whap beat at whatever speed we wanted, so I came up with a fast and silly punk rock progression and recorded it somewhere north of 160 BPM's. Having no lyrics, Glam obliged to do a little melodic wandering in the chorus with something he quickly scribbled, but I. who was already a couple of ales to the good, suggested to Glam that I should resurrect my scottish rapper alter ego, MCscottfree for this tune. I had just recently finished reading James Kelman's How late it was,how late and so I decided to base the lyrics on the protagonist Sammy, who is blinded by some Glaswegian "sodjers" or cops if you prefer. This get's me off the hook for any vulgarities uttered in the context of the's certainly not me way...
Anyway after a couple of takes and some beastie boy doubles, Glam and I had our first Garageband insta-classic. You can hear all the beginners luck in drop out, theres one part where I play the completely wrong chords and I hadn't figured out how to edit all the guitar effect noise out before the song starts. Well, all the mistakes still there so enjoy, in all it's bedraggled glory, the first track of "La Pistola del Corazon"...."FAT LIP BOYS"

p.s. I have no idea what the title means, it just came to me while and Glam got skinny lips

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


This is the twelfth and final track of "El Pistola del Corazon" by Las Reatas, appropriately entitled "Pistols" We broke with the usual manner of composition in this one as Glam had already written most if not all of the song by the time I had arrived at his house. He had done it in 3/4 waltz time and it was fairly slow and folky and I quite liked it that way and suggested we record it as is. Glam, however, insisted it could be done in 4/4 time and much faster. Although I had my doubts, I agreed and added a little intro section so as to leave some space between the lyrics. Initially, Glam had a little trouble re-timing his lyrics to the extra beat, but eventually managed to knock it out. The aforementioned lyrics refer back to trip he took to a racetrack with his first love Magnolia Bloom and her brothers and some friends. For the video, I was almost ready to leave Victoria for Toronto and we still had no videos for Pistols and Bobby Stints but had the brilliant idea that instead of a labourious collection of stills and videos, we could just  play the track on the stereo and lip-sync the entire song in one shot. It turned out to be fairly easy to sync up the song with video and presto!....we had two videos done in a day and a half and had completed the entire song cycle before I had to go. The horses all ran!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Bobby Stints

This is track eleven in the newly renamed "El Pistola del Corazon" recording. "Bobby Stints" is in reference and deference to the late great Replacement's guitarist Bobby Stinson and by extension, his younger brother Tommy Stinson. Personal disclosure former band Rusty did a bunch of shows on the west coast opening for Tommy's band Perfect back in '95 and I remain a fan to this day. Glam, however, wrote the lyric and this is his take on the Stinson saga.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Tree Song

I'm losing count here, but I think this is song # 9 in the cycle. Much like "Eye Sea You" before it, this track almost didnt make the cut due to its general sketchiness. However, with some spastic editing and the return of the dreaded autotune, it was saved from the dustbin. Lucky for that, as this was the song where Glam blew out his eardrum singing the now famous (to us) line "teenage kicks by the railway line"
Also, if some of the other lines sound familiar its because they are. Portions of the same lyric can be heard in at least one of the preceding tunes due post it note mix-ups and a poor filing system. Much like the repeat of an entire hook like in Morningstar and Lean an" Mean, this lyrical repetition has now been adopted as one the somewhat suspect themes of "La Pistola del Corazon"
With only two songs left in the can after this, the end is almost in sight. However there are no video's for these two, and not enough time left before I must return east and part ways with my co-conspirator, Glam Parson. Also I cant figure out how to just post audio up here although I did manage to get the video box a little bigger (see above)
Tree, tree, tree, in the simple ground!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Eye Sea Ewe

The latest entry in the collection has broken with punk rock template. In fact it wasnt even really a song, just three or four separate vocal takes that I edited together and had to use the auto-tuner on as they were not really what you would call "in -key". I kinda like the results although Glam has his reservations about this one. Anyway here she is!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Bad Bad Bike

Song # 8 in the cycle (no pun intended) "Bad Bad Bike"

Should not really be in the collection as it was written before my trip west, but the bridge was added here and the song was recorded here so there ya are...

It's not something your'e gonna like!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sweet Hobby Whores

Song # 3 and we are starting to hit our stride. No obvious mistakes and a virtual horn. Might have hit the six track plateau. My favorite line "She keeps her place neat and tidy"