September Gurls

I was incredibly sad to read this morning about the death of Alex Chilton. He was the creative force behind one of my all-time favourite bands, the indie band’s indie band, Big Star. An anglophilic Memphis alt-rock band from the early 70s, they never had much in the way of commercial success, but were immensely influential. This is possibly the first time since George Harrison or Douglas Adams died that I have been this upset by the death of someone I’ve never met.
I listened to Big Star a lot around the turn of the millennium. I played a cover of the Big Star song September Gurls live at open mic nights around Melbourne a few times, in the early days of The International Language Of Mime. This recording is from around that time – early to mid 2002 – recorded direct to MiniDisc in my makeshift bedroom in the band’s North Fitzroy home. Just me and my guitar. It’s not a particularly inspiring cover, but it was a fun song to play. Thank you, friend.

September Gurls (Chilton)

September gurls do so much
I was your butch and you were touched
I loved you, well, never mind
I’ve been crying all the time

December boy’s got it bad
December boy’s got it bad

September gurls, I don’t know why
How can I deny what’s inside
Even though I’ll keep away
Maybe we’ll love all our days

December boy’s got it bad
December boy’s got it bad

When I get to bed, late at night
That’s the time she makes things right
Ooh, when she makes love to me

September gurls do so much
I was your butch and you were touched
I loved you, well, never mind
I’ve been crying all the time

December boy’s got it bad
December boy’s got it bad
________________________________________________________________________________

Have a bonus song. Big Star covering The Kinks: Big Star – Till the End of the Day


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Wilderness Of Zin

Today is my 33? birthday. I am stupidly excited about this. So to celebrate, I am going to upload a song!

The seeds for this song were sown back in the mists of time, when I was a sprightly 18 year old. I was in my final year of secondary school, and had formed my first band, the inspiringly named Psychedelic Curtains. We were nominally a 4 piece – three guitarists and drummer (none of us owned a bass), and I had semi-taught the other two guitarists to play. We never actually all managed to get in a room together at the same time to play – three of us jammed once or twice together.

In reality, the band ended up being a two-piece. Two guitars, one voice (I hadn’t built up the courage to sing in front of anyone else at this stage). We wrote a short album-worth of material and recorded it on a little tape deck in my bedroom. We called the album The Wilderness Of Zin, after discovering the niftily named region on a map of the Negev desert in Israel. We even had a couple of t-shirts printed (coincidentally, I was wearing what’s left of mine today). The picture used on the t-shirt was one I took of a school mate of ours, who has since gone on to bigger and better things*.

This song was not written for that album, but was written a year or so later, when I was feeling nostalgic. The recording was done almost a decade later, in 2005, using an old iMac and ProTools Free. Two vocal tracks, two guitar tracks. Simples.

Disclaimer: I have never been to the Wilderness Of Zin.

*Also coincidentally, I was wearing that t-shirt at the 2001 Reading Festival, the same day that Ladytron were playing, but I had no idea at the time that my old school friend was in the band!

Wilderness Of Zin

I’m lost in the Wilderness of Zin.
A more desolate place,
You have not been in.
Wilderness of Zin.

I’m lost in the Wilderness of Zin.
Where ever else you go,
You’ve always been
To the Wilderness of Zin

I’m lost in the Wilderness of Zin
Wilderness of Zin.


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Anything You Want


This was the last song I wrote before leaving London for Australia, way back in the mists of time (2001). It is an incredibly basic rock and roll number – a little too basic, it has been said. I have another short song lying around somewhere which I keep meaning to integrate into this one, as an attempt to inject a bit of variety. One day, I may get around to it. It shall not be this day.

This was the first recording I ever made on my laptop, the first song recorded with Garageband. As a result it is somewhat raw. The ‘guitar solos’ are me singing with a distorted guitar effect on my voice. When The International Language Of Mime played this song live, the solos were played on kazoo. We were all class. Until our recent reunion gig at the end of last year, this song had not been performed live since 2002. I always enjoyed playing it in rehearsals – it was a good warm up song – and I’ve always loved Dom’s bass line for it (my attempt to replicate it in this recording was not entirely successful – it was played on a guitar and then dropped an octave)

Anyway, here it is. Feel free to download and share or ignore as you see fit.

Thanks for listening!

Anything You Want (This ‘N That)

You can hit me, you can hit me
You can do anything you want
You can kick me, you can kick
You can do anything you want

I don’t mind, no I don’t mind
‘Cause you’re the certain kind
I’ve been looking for

You can thrill me, you can thrill me
You can do anything you want
You can kill me, you can kill me
You can do anything you want

I don’t mind, no I don’t mind
‘Cause you’re the certain kind
I’ve been looking for

You can use me, you can use me
You can do anything you want
You can abuse me, you can abuse me
You can do anything you want

I don’t mind, no I don’t mind
‘Cause you’re the certain kind
I’ve been looking for

You can hurt me, you can hurt me
You can do anything you want
Please don’t desert me, don’t desert me
You can do anything you want

I don’t mind, no I don’t mind
‘Cause you’re the certain kind
I’ve been looking for

You can do this, you can do this
You can do anything you want
You can do that, you can do that
You can do anything you want

I don’t mind, no I don’t mind
‘Cause you’re the certain kind
I’ve been looking for.


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#100days

Writer, comedian, actor, knitter, reader, and all round craft machine Josie Long (who is awesome and my hero), has set up a project called One Hundred Days To Make A Better Person. The idea is simple: “from 1 December 2009, Josie Long cordially invites you to pledge to do one thing every day for 100 days in a bid to generally make things better.” I am partaking and have decided to keep it simple: I’ll be writing at least 100 words a day, for 100 days, to get into the habit of writing daily. I have just finished writing on day 1. My word count for the day was 368 (not counting these words), and I have started writing a story that I’ve been thinking about for a while. It’s a sort of detective story/magazine article/short story collection/novel thing, entitled The Distinguished Gentleman’s Last Case. I’ll keep you updated on my progress here and on twitter, using the #100days tag.

I’ll leave you with Josie’s introduction. Take it away, Josie. Now bring it back:

“Hello friends and welcome to One Hundred Days to Make Me a Better Person.

From December 1st, myself and a group of comedians, writers and musicians will be trying to make ourselves better, every day, for a hundred days. Some will be working towards a big project, like learning a language, and others will be doing the same something, like writing a letter each day.

As the days go on we’ll be documenting and posting our experiences here, as well as on our flickr and twitter accounts.

On March 10th, we will present our experiences, and perform some of the things we’ve made at a spectacular gig for the London Word Festival. The gig will feature a gallery space for people to show off their own projects and all kinds of hi-jinks.

We want you to join in too!

All you have to do is decide on a project to do every day for a hundred days.

It can be the same thing every day or working towards something big. The only thing is that it has to be towards improving yourself. Make yourself friendlier, stronger, wiser or just sillier!

Check back in to the site to see everyone’s progress – we will be blogging about it every day.”

Follow us on twitter.com/hundredday. Look for #100days tweets

Find us on flickr.com username: A Hundred Days To Make Me a Better Person


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The Return!

My first music post on my new website!

This is just a quickie to let you in on some exciting news! 8 years ago, I journeyed to Australia as part of a British beat combo called The International Language Of Mime. And now, over 5 years since our last gig, we are performing another one-off reunion farewell comeback spectacular for your pleasure!

The details:

The gig will be at Idgaff at 160 Hoddle Street (a bit south of Johnson St) in Abbotsford. (Nearest station – Collingwood).

Here’s a map for you:

The proceedings will kick off around 5pm on the 5th December, we’ll be playing at 6.30. The Red Aces will be on at 5.30.

Hope to see you there!!! Here’s a song to whet your appetite:

Katzette

xx

(P.S. We will be rusty – we haven’t played together for over 5 years, and have never played with our new drummer before? So please, be gentle…)


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What Kind Of Humanist Are You?

I just took the New Humanist’sWhat Kind Of Humanist Are You?” quiz, and the result was scarily accurate, so I thought I’d share it with y’all.

What Kind Of Humanist Are You?
Hedonistic Humanist

You are one of life’s enjoyers, determined to get the most you can out of your brief spell on this glorious planet. What first attracted you to atheism was the prospect of liberation from the Ten Commandments, few of which are compatible with a life of pleasure. You play hard and work quite hard, have a strong sense of loyalty and a relaxed but consistent approach to your philosophy. You can’t see the point of abstract principles and probably wouldn’t lay down your life for a concept, though you might for a friend. Something of a champagne humanist, you admire George Bernard Shaw for his cheerful agnosticism and pursuit of sensual rewards, and your Hollywood hero is Marlon Brando, who was beautiful (for a while), irascible and aimed for goodness in his own tortured way. You adored the humanist London bus slogan (“There’s probably no God, now stop worrying and enjoy your life”) and are delighted that wild young comedians like Stewart Lee, Christina Martin and Ricky Gervais share your full-blooded rejection of religion. Sometimes you might be tempted to allow your own pleasures to take precedence over your ethics. But everyone is striving for that elusive balance between the good and the happy life. You’d probably better open another bottle and agree that for you there’s no contest.


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