Monday, 25 February 2008

Hey Y'all

It's my fucking birthday. Suck on that, bitches.


Just a Bad Dream

Good Morning, Good Morning

I feel the need to share with you all a touching yarn.

John is the landlord at The Royal Oak; my local in Bath. A few months back he approached us about playing a folk festival, which we said we probably would.

To my surprise, when I went to The Oak I was approached by John's wife who is organising said festival and she asked me if it was true that we couldn't play. This baffled me. Turned out John had had a dream about us not being able to play the folk festival after having seen "No Smokey B" written on a kitchen pad. This had led to confusion and worry.

It was later discovered that this note meant that they had run out of smoky bacon flavour Nobby's Nuts. I saw fit, at this point, to laugh at John seeing as, not only had he become worried about us not playing, he had also neglected to order any more nuts.

That is the end of that, another thrilling episode of the Smokey Bastard blog. I thank you.


Friday, 22 February 2008

Degrees of Uselessness

Tick Tick Tick

In very roughly three months I and a few others in the band graduate from university (all things being well).

It's getting hard to avoid speculation about what might happen when I drop off the end of the playschool-infants-school-college-uni conveyor belt.

One thing is for dead certain:

(I can't work out whether I've put this image here illegally - AppleGeeks Lite kicks total ass, find and love it (and my favourite strip from it) here; that might get me off the hook...)

Degrees don't have the power they used to - I think most people admit that these days - but I'm pretty chuffed about having studied philosophy, since the real value of having studied it is not to be found on the (probably metaphorical in the UK anyway) piece of paper in the 'mail'. The value is that it means I can be philosophical about stuff, man (/dude etc.).

For example:

Hey, so maybe our degrees are useless - but who cares? So's our band, and that still kicks arse...


Monday, 18 February 2008

A Productile Post


After the rhythm section of Bastard spent a long evening on Saturday night songwriting in the Ness Family Care Home, we agreed that Sunday would be a long day, an early start, a generally productive enterprise. "What?!" Bastard gasped, "get back here tomorrow for WHAT time in the frost-bitten god-forsaken winter morning?!" Ten o clock. No excuses.

So, come half past ten i was standing over the mumbling, sleeping form of Mike, in Chris' spare room, while Chris stumbled to the loo in his pyjamas (I say 'pyjamas' - I'm relatively sure they were his clothes from the day before), and a sleepy Andy on the other end of a mobile phone was explaining that Sophie hadn't yet got him breakfast in bed and so they might be another hour or so. Matt, to his credit, was already at the rehearsal, but it's his damn house. That just leaves Pat.

Hi Pat, if you're out there, somewhere.


A solid TEN HOURS of songwriting later we've finished the weekend with some half-covered folk standards, a few half-written bits and bobs and two shiny and complete new songs: an original acoustic folk punk number called "Steve the Finchampstead Twat" and an original balls-out punk ejaculation called (something like) "Old Boys' State".


I think it's interesting that although the lyrics for the two finished tunes were written by different band members completely independently of each other, they both reflect the same subtle change in theme (or maybe attitude) for Bastard. Although we still haven't written a single track which doesn't at least mention drunkenness, drink, drinking or drunks (ahem), both the new tracks seem to be noticably lacking any respect for the whole old-drunken-man-of-wisdom folk tradition that you find glorified even in our own early tunes like Old Jack.

I personally wonder whether the looming prospect of making an album might be having the interesting effect of making us focus more closely on what a folk punk record from our own hometown sounds like, and on writing and saying what we as individuals and as a band have to say and write. That is, as opposed to coming from some abstract idea of what folk punk bands do or say, we might really be heading towards making our very own product.
ok, just to avoid confusion, I should point out that no matter how righteous I get about our philosophy, we're still just a bunch of cunts shouting about stuff, I just think too much.

in other news:

A tiny update: Smokey Bastard gave an official go-ahead to Barrie Barlow, signalling that we're well up for welcoming him on board as our manager subject to blah blah blah. With all his connections and experience as a real musician in the real business, friendly connections to us through the Crabtree Dynasty and an obviously genuine enthusiasm for what we're up to, he looks like just the right man for the job - let's hope it comes to pass!

Fingers crossed also that we get within sniffing distance of John Leckie producing us, though obviously who knows at this point, busy man, etc etc. Getting a really nice album made was the subject of the very first conversation I ever had with Barrie when we met in the Eldon Arms in December, and so I think he knows how much it means to us to get it right - the suggestion that Mr. Leckie might be able to have a hand is one to really get us salivating!


For those of you who aren't wikipedia: John Leckie's production credentials go in one swoop from really well crafted raw early punk (e.g. The Adverts? Well worth a listening at) through the crunchy sounds of Britpop to the modern, more slick and complex rock, punk and pop (even music chumps will have heard these names: Radiohead, Muse), to the very subtly produced acoustic sounds of artists like Rodrigo y Gabriella or Shiv Kumar Sharma, and beyond. For an almost literally insane list covering Leckie's career, look here.

That John was also involved in the only even slightly celtic offerings that The Silencers ever recorded is probably a good sign, but as far as I can see it'll be mostly the fact that he uniquely has huge amounts of experience in both punk and world music that would make him absolutely THE man to put our sound on a disk.

I said: "that would make him absolutely THE man to put our sound on a disk!"

You think he heard?


Monday, 11 February 2008

Curbing Our Enthusiasm

Greetings kittens,

GOOD NEWS and terrifyingly amusing news for you all this Happy Monday.

Firstly, we met with Barrie from Jethro Tull and things sound sexy and boy did he LOOK sexy. We still need to run things past Mike and Pat who were busy bumming each other elsewhere at the time of the meeting but we're getting close.

The exciting news is that the producer he's asked to record our album is none other than John Leckie, who worked on 'The Bends' with Radiohead and Muse's 'Origin of Symmetry'. COOL! Yes it is cool. As a result, we're pretty much going to TELL Mike and Pat that this is going ahead.

More news soon after we beat them into submission.

In other news, there has been a quite ludicrous turn of events in one band member's eternal quest to "get some ", as it were. For the sake of the story we shall call him MATTHEW NESS. Those of you familiar with Larry David's 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' will be ready for the cringe factor. Others may want to wear protective goggles.

So, one evening, Matt was out with boons*. Matt makes a habit of going out with boons. Nobody knows why. Anyway, he was making eyes at some chick. You know the kind of deal where you see a girl, register that she's hot, look away and carry on with your own business but can't stop turning around for another little peek? WELL IT WAS THAT. Turned out she was looking back so the lady's man thought "I'm in". He was not yet in.

She went out into the smokers' alley and Matt sat and contemplated whether he could bring himself to be so contemptible as to pretend he smoked so he could go and talk to her.

While his mind was in turmoil one of the aforementioned boons had already taken action, lit up and told the chick that Matt was all about that shizzle. Not being the quickest of cats, when questioned as to why Matt couldn't have told her this himself, the boon replied "I ....well....erm.....I dunno" and ran away.

This left Matt in dire straits. Upon hearing of this boon's foolish endeavour, he was left to explain to his newfound love interest that he was not, as had been made out, a massive baby and that he could talk to girls if he wanted to.

Come the end of the evening, and after much explanation, she said something like "see you next week" and Matt breathed a sigh of relief and went back to thinking "I'm in". He was not yet in.

This is where it gets a bit silly.

The next week Matt returned with a new entourage of boons, found his woman and initiated proceedings portending to coitus.

Immediately, and without hesitation, a boon arrived to ruin the day.

"Matt's in a band", she blurted.

Matt didn't know what to do. He panicked, as many would, as he worried that he looked like even more of a dickhead. Being sharp of mind, Matt quickly responded "Shut up. Don't say that", turned to the chick and told her, with firm authority, "I'm not in a band". Matt is in a band.

He now has a date with this chick, during which he must not divulge that he is in a band. Unfortunately, Matt and the band are one and the same. Without the band, Matt is a man with no interests. He will also no doubt tell ALL of his friends about this production deal lark so chances of keeping the band a secret are very low indeed.

Safe in the knowledge that she will never find out about the band or the blog, and if she does then it will all be ruined anyway, there will be more news when Matt fucks it up.


*Boons idiots, cretins, imbeciles, simpletons, chumps, pillocks, mongoloids, troglodytes, dimwits, dunces, morons, twits, weakest links, checkout supervisors.

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Jethro, The Prosthetic Limb and The Ever-Questionable Dentist

Morning kids. How's tricks?

The majority of the band are meeting with Barrie Barlow this weekend to discuss this here production deal lark. This should hopefully result in some more solid plans which I can then relate to you via this exciting blog so stay tuned.

Apart from that I'm mainly just going to voice some thoughts.

Firstly, I was watching The Empire Strikes Back the other day because I'm fucking cool. Anyway, it got to the very end and it showed Luke's new robotic hand and I got to thinking; Would you get tired using a robotic limb?

I guess this boils down to whether a fully functional prosthetic limb would be actually robotic or just a synthetic replica of the limb it is replacing. Either way it would have to take motor neurone input to be at all useful but would it require oxygen from blood or would it function on a different power source. Would your robotic hand have a charger like a phone? If anybody knows I would greatly appreciate answers.

Sceondly, I'm no dentist but I went to my dentist the other day and I'm having my doubts as to whether he is really a dentist. It didn't used to bother me when I was a kid - The sooner I was out of that chair, the better - but now It's starting to irritate me. I am going to ask you to read the following aloud to yourself.

Eight, Seven, Six, Five, Four, Three, Two, One
One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight

No Eight, Seven, Six, Five, Four, Three, Two, One
One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, No Eight

How long did that take you? Fifteen seconds? Well however long it was, that is how long my dentist appointments last. He just counts my teeth and then I can leave. No other comments. He doesn't even verify if that is the right amount of teeth. Is it?

In conclusion, not a dentist.

Anyway, I'm done. I'll catch y'all for an update next week sometime, as this weekend I shall be rocking out to Dropkick Murphys and The Mad Caddies.


Monday, 4 February 2008

Johnny Loxley and the Infinite Baffle

So I found out today that apparently you can get different sized infinities. My argument goes like this:

Say you flip a coin an infinite number of times. The probability of getting, say, four heads in a row is 1. It is definitely going to happen, given the number of times the coin is flipped. By the same argument, the probability is 1 that ten heads in a row will show up. And twenty. And a million. But also, an infinte amount of heads, since there's infinite time to do it in.

So, I argued, the chances of getting an infinite number of heads, with an inifinite number of flips is 1. Surely that would mean that the possibility of getting a tails at any time is 0 (which obviously isn't true).

My maths friends told me it's something to do with different sized infinities, so that even though there are two infinities involved, one is bigger than the other. Which is why the probability of getting a tails is not 0. What?

I don't know, it made me think is all.

In other news: a) Drinking tea and beer only staves off hunger for so long, b) Real food is expensive and c) Toast is a life saver.

Don't am stupid,
- Mike