A walk in the park

August 22, 2015

Last Thursday, as I was walking across the playground where I happen to teach on that particular day of the week, one of my more spirited percussion students came up to me and said (aka: screamed): “Mr. —-! Don’t forget: you PROMISED me that I could play drums today because I did so well on the glockenspiel last week.”

Her eyes burned with intent and expectation.

-We’ll see.

-But….you promised!

-Yes, but adults lie all the time. 

Perhaps I should have added, “Get used to it, kid”, but she’ll probably figure that out soon enough. Hopefully sooner than I did.

It was a good day, and a fun lesson to teach.

[NOTE: Of course I let them play drums that day.  I don’t know why I wanted to prepare them for disappointment, or why I wanted to simply confuse this poor kid so full of spark & spunk, but it was fun nonetheless. It happens. I am human, and all that that implies]

Shocked & Shaking

May 2, 2015

I don’t know if it happens to everyone, but do you ever get those phases of sheer music fatigue? It’s not as if you’ve fallen out of love with your favourite music, but it’s just those rare times when everything loved & familiar suddenly become too familiar? It may only last an hour or a few days, (although I do recall one friend who seemed struck by the apathy virus for a few months), but either way it both a sign and symptom of weakened spirits that only compounds the problem.  If music is your bedrock, best friend, & bible, how cruel is it to be unable to turn to it when you need it most.

Of course I am well aware that “there is a world of music out there at your fingertips”, and this is certainly not a post about how “there just isn’t any good music out there!”. That’s complete rubbish, as anyone involved with music in any way, shape, or form can attest. The problem is simply that sometimes you don’t have it right here and now. Sometimes we find music, sometimes it finds you, and sometimes those paths are circuitous and meandering since we all don’t have access to an amazing radio station or a best friend or an older sibling to guide us in this wide world of musical thorns and wilderness.

And really, this has been one long introduction when all I really meant to say is that I stumbled across a song that has shaken me to the core and made all of the above somewhat irrelevant. I don’t know how long I’ll feel this buzz, but it’s wonderful while it lasts, and it’s amazing that when your spirit gets shaken out of its slumber that the rediscovered rosy glow is cast over your entire world, INCLUDING YOUR RECORD COLLECTION THAT YOU WERE JUST MOANING ABOUT.  Like a music rebirth or sonic baptism, all is right with the world.  All it took was the right kick and you were away and running.

I was wasting time over at Grantland, which would seem somewhat odd since I don’t much like Sports and have little idea about what constitutes Pop Culture, but….they seem to write about it so well.  Writer Steven Hyden had a piece on Titus Andronicus which I initially didn’t click because I’m a jerk (and probably jealous in some irrational way even though I’d not heard much of the band aside from the name), but once I had read anything that looked like it might interest me, and then everything else, I eventually got hit over the head with this:

What does one say to that? I wanted to hug the band. I wanted hug Steve Hyden.  I wound up hugging the cat instead, and then just sat there in awe, reeling in the beauty and steeped in envy. A simple (but amazingly clever) song, a simple  (But cleverly amazing) video that brings the brilliant verbal barrage to the front, and a voice that punches and aches at the same time.  The second verse killed me to the point that I felt like a helpless fraud. I don’t want to dissect it much more than that, because it’s enough that it just is. 

It’s hard to say why this song made me so happy, not just because of the thing itself, but I suspect it’s because I find comfort in knowing that people are still writing songs like this and are unafraid to say it in such a straightforward manner.  Instead of couching ourselves in modesty and self-deprecation (whether real or not), it would be nice to simply say Yes: this is me and this is it.

On a final note, I felt like a complete tool for not knowing what the term “Dimed Out” meant, but thankfully by the end of the song they had explained it so easily and obviously that even I managed to get it. That’s rare.

Throwback Thursday: Top 10 songs from 2008

April 30, 2015


Wow…we are feeling old. Scroll down to the end and you’ll see why. Big love to TOMATRAX for hopping on board since day 1.

Originally posted on Tomatrax:

It’s the final Thursday of the month and that means time for another Throwback Thursday where we look at the top 10 songs from a previous year. This year we look at the year when the Beijing Olympics were held, Obama became President of the USA, and Mr Tomato got married! Otherwise known as 2008!

Number 10: REM – Supernatural superserious

Number 9: Portishead – Machine Gun

Number 8: David Gilmour – Confortable Numb

Number 7: David Bridie – Succumb

Number 6: Halou – Evensong

Number 5: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Midnight Man

Number 4: Mezzanine Owls – Snow Globe

Number 3: Circle – Everytime

Number 2: Super Massive – Fists in my pocket

Number 1: Royal Chant / Sickboy – Coughing Fits

View original

Interview with that Royal Chant guy

April 3, 2015


This came out a few days ago. I tried to give as good as I got, but still, this one was rather brutal.

Originally posted on Tomatrax:


Royal Chant have released yet another sub par single. We weren’t really wanting to feature them but Mark Spence from the band kept begging so we gave in to the sobbing and did an interview out of pity!

Your latest single was one of the worst songs I’ve ever heard, are you deliberately trying to dish up rubbish or are you just naturally talentless?

We kind of assumed that no one was paying attention by this point, so we’re just throwing things together. It’s not our fault you actually bothered to listen to it.

The single pretty much sounds like everything else you’ve ever done, why didn’t you just release one of your previous songs under a new name?

How did you get your hands on our long-term business strategy? That was never supposed to be leaked to the wider public, but yeah, that’s basically what we’re going to start…

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I Forget, I Forgot…

February 27, 2015


It hasn’t been unusually busy nor quiet so far this year, but somehow it slipped my mind that Royal Chant released a new single a week or so ago and I forgot to do my usual half-baked blitz of DIY promo & pseudo-hype. So, yeah, this happened:

We recorded the drums and the original guitar track at the only studio in Port Macquarie, which has now (recently & sadly) shuttered its doors. We finished the rest in James bedroom because that’s what bands do these days, due to the fact that nobody has any money and we’re not likely to make any at this game.  But, since we’re too stupid/stubborn/proud to quit, we released it like a proper band without being very proper about it at all.

If you’re not into Bandcamp you can get your hands on it over at SoundCloud if that’s how you like to roll with your jams

Or you can had over to Triple-J Unearthed and help us participate in the perpetual popularity contest that is Australian radio.  You can download it, and rate it, and I think there’s a place where you can let the station know whether you’ve named any children or pets after your fav band, as well as upload any pics of any tattoos that feature said band.

You’ve probably got the point by now — We want to see what you think and if it manages to find a place in your heart/iPod. We spend so much time with these songs that we really have no idea if we’ve hit, missed, or yawned. You can head over to Tomatrax and read his take on things if you’re keen and have some company time to kill.

We had an official “launch” for this track on Friday the 13th, which of course went about as well as expected, meaning that it kinda became a mess and not many people showed up and then we manged to forgot not only to play the aforementioned single we were launching, but to hand out the free copies afterwards as well. Par for the course.  I suppose I should not be so surprised or feel so wounded when booking agents don’t return our calls or emails.

Here’s what things look like on better days….

We’ve got a few more shows on this “tour”, hitting Adelaide (hello new friend, sorry we misjudged you for so long for no good reason), before heading over to Melbourne for shows with our besties Claws & Organs along with Them Bruins and other cool bands that make the city so damn appealing. They have a Cat Cafe. Enough said.

Before I go I’ll leave you with a final parting number; this is “Sea Chanty” that closed the show on Jan. 8th at our beloved Brighton Up Bar in Sydney. It’s worth making it until the end so you can see possibly the best cymbal smash in recent memory.

Holler back if it’s been a while.  It does get awful lonely out here.




Land Sale

February 10, 2015

Pristine acres of mud
neatly sliced & cut
with promise and price-tags adorned.

A parade, a school band,
rambling speeches galore
with all the best clichés.

This new part of town:
a beautiful creation,
surgically envisioned.

Still, they eat & clap & eat
the sumptuous tasteless catering
accept a few brochures
and make nice with their new neighbors.

Later, they turn their heads
and in a stage whisper say
-it looks nice, but still rough.

Give it time.
Soon enough.

Taking its sweet time like the cracks
that appear for a brief glimpse,
not long before no single soul can recall
a state of affairs as anything but.

Give it time.
Soon enough.

A quiet street
for the wrong reasons
with rust and junk,
busted windows and faces,
and bored hungry dogs that know enough
to wait. It will come.

Give it time.
Soon enough.

A slight curve at the end of the street
she used to stand and wave
always in the sun, it seemed
her face as bright as the beams
that kissed her skin and laughing teeth.
Things change.

Give it time.
Soon enough.

Now she doesn’t wave,
but hangs her darkened eyes
and shivers despite being wrapped tight
in a cloak of the modern world’s making.

Give it time.
Soon enough.

It will come.



Tomatrax Top 20 albums of 2014

December 13, 2014


It’s that time for end of the year lists….and we’re amongst some very fine company. Big love to Sounds Like Sunset and their beautiful LP.

Originally posted on Tomatrax:

It was a hard slog but after listening, and re-listening to a massive pile of impressive albums we have picked out our Top 20. As was the case with the top EPs, you can listen to all 20 albums in full!

20 Repeat After Me – Making a map

19        Post Child – New Age Whatever

18        Will Z – 12 Visions

17        Lune – Music and Sports 

16        They Might Be Giants – First album live


15        Anomie – Permanent Revelation

14        Davey Lane – Atonally young


13        Anda Volley – In the ghost machine

12        Invisible Elephant – Sleepwalking

11        Sylvaine – Silent Chamber, Noisy Heart

10        The Broken Needles – Holy Coast

9        Alvvays – Alvvays

8        Sounds Like Sunset – We could leave tonight

7        Royal Chant –…

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Old Skool

November 24, 2014

Sometimes it just hits.

Not inspiration, but that something even better….someone else making/doing/singing/being something that strikes you.

This is “Love Shows” by a band/artist/entity called The Gaze. As of right now, she/they have 86 FB likes. That means nothing good nor bad, it just is.  I stumbled upon this piece of perfection on the new Spring Fling 2014 Compilation put out by the fledgling Sydney label Electric Sun Records. [FULL DISCLOSURE: RC’s “I Remember Crescent City” is track #7 on the CD, and “Love Shows” is #8.  It’s not a stretch how I might have found it….coz yeah, I have an ego and get drunk and listen to my own music.]

So there I am, driving along in my usual disgruntled skin, and then this comes on.  I have probably listened to this track 50 times already in a very short period of time, in skies sunny and drear, hours early and late, and I don’t care. I love it. It is 2 minutes and 18 seconds of right on.

I can sing along to every line of this song, but if you asked me to repeat a lyric at random I don’t think I could spit a single syllable. I only know it when it’s on.

In one of my weird moods, I decided to write down the lyrics. That’s what I used to do (and still do, in fact), when I wanted to learn a song.  Rather than look up the chords &/or lyrics on the google machine I used to listen to a song over and over and over and transcribe the chords and lyrics as best I could.  Sometimes I got very close.  Sometimes I got things very, very wrong.  No matter what, I always got closer to the song.

Love Shows
by The Gaze

Heartbreak answers answers to so many different names
I’d love you if you’d only stayed the same
I studied you until I learnt the game
and sometimes a flame is just a flame
I knew just what it took to make you smile
I haven’t felt that urge for quite a while
I pushed coz I needed to see you cry
I pushed just to see if you’d push me back

Hope grows, only love shows
Love grows, only hope shows

In the end, somebody always pays
It can come out in so many different ways
I was looking for somebody new to blame
When it all falls down it’s such a shame

Hope grows, only love shows
Love grows, only hope shows

I can feel that I’m pushing you away
Though I made up my mind to try and stay
Heartbreak lingers love can creep away
I’m not sure I remember you anyway

Hope grows, only love shows
Love grows, only hope shows

That is all. I found this song and I like it rather much. Let me know what you think, but even more, let them know if it moves you too.

It’s time for bed, so I will catch you all laterzzzzzzz…..



October 22, 2014


If you wait long enough, someone else will say it for you. Sometimes they say it better, like in this case.

Originally posted on Walmer Convenience:

I’m fucking 34 years old. To some of you that is mad old. You’re like “that dude is gonna die soon”. Or you’re like “wow, are you a parent?”. Neither apply. And you know what? I’ve outlived Jesus. Yeah. It’s therefore logical to infer that I’m smarter than him, have made better life decisions and you would actually do better to listen to me. Fuck yeah. Now that we’ve cleared that I have unquestionable authority let’s get down to the nitty gritty. What is the worst shit in EDM today. Some would say everything. That’s an acceptable answer. The term EDM is fucking stupid as I explained here.

But what if we were picky? What if we picked the worst of the worst? Let’s stop fucking talking and start doing. I’m gonna force myself to actually listen to this shit for the first time in my life. Here’s the…

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Gentle Confusion

September 28, 2014

More curious and less certain these days,
quieter and easily led.
Is there such a thing?
Gentle confusion that paces
like a cat at midnight
wanting nothing but movement

It’s pleasant enough
let us invent some meaning.


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