Friday, December 4, 2009

Sex with Bowie - Mr Hands (Live)

Here's a video from our album release at Chicks Hotel back in September. The song is called Mr Hands - I'm sure you're all well aware who he is (was).

Monday, November 23, 2009

Things I have learned recently.

This is just a list from some experiences I've had as a sound engineer at live shows or have heard from other performers and engineers recently.. I'm sure most of you will learn something from it. Or perhaps it might bring back some memories.

1) This is pretty important I think.. if you play an instrument such as electric guitar or keyboard, well I can't believe I'm typing this and have had to say this, but bring your own leads.

2) If you play the drums bring your own drum key and your own drum sticks. The sound engineer may not actually have these on him - hard to believe I know.

3) Bring your own 9V batteries or adapters. Don't act like it's the sound engineer's fault that you haven't when you ask him if he has any and he says No. He's generally not the one performing.

4) Bring your own guitar picks.

5) Bring your own guitar, the sound engineer may not have one - I feel like a fucking parrot.

5) Bring your own amp unless you've organised to play somebody else's. Don't stare blankly at the sound engineer with your (borrowed) guitar lead pointed aimlessly about as if he or she can magic you one out of thin air.

6) Don't charge $25 on the door if a) Only about 10 people in town know who your band is and b) you're playing in a tiny venue that can't possibly warrant the production values expected for that kind of price. This is just common sense. I hope I never manage to convince myself to do this - so far, so good (but I am only 27 I suppose.)

7) Don't have sex/enter relationships with other band members. Particularly if they have a) just separated from long term partners b) are in the process of separating from long term partners c) are in relationships with long term partners. This is important.

8) A band is just a band. When you realise this your music will become 10 times better, the shows will become 10 times better, your sex life will be 10 times better and your hangovers will be 10 times better.

9) Above all: treat other people like Human Beings. Whether they be fellow performers, audience members, bar managers or sound engineers we all have a job to do and most of us try our absolute best. There is no room for greed or selfishness because we all rely on one another to make things happen. There is no money in music. Don't be fooled into thinking otherwise. Do not risk creating conflict, destroying relationships and earning a reputation that will harm your "career" rather than benefit it - especially over something trivial.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Video related stuff

So I've been quite busy lately on various projects and I thought I'd post links to some stuff that's been finished.

I recorded the sound for a pilot music show called Off The Cuff, made by Daniel Alexander for his final year in the Otago Polytechnic film school. The premise for the show was to record bands performing live in whatever location they wanted and to forgo any kind of presenter/interviewer in favour of a more direct approach - ie. letting the music speak for itself.

The first band we recorded were the Biff Merchants, a psychedelic rock band who unfortunately no longer exist. We showed up to a large venue called Sammy's really early in the morning and after several hours of set up managed to get a great result. Sammy's has good acoustics and it suited the band well.

Fourth World
by The Biff Merchants.

The second band recorded was a new 3 piece electro/industrapop/rock band called Thundercub. Completely different to the Biff Merchants in almost every way, this shoot was done in their practice space/flat living room area and had a totally different feel to the previous shoot. The band played well and I think we got a pretty good result.

Shotgun Pingpong - By Thundercub.

And last but not least: one of my own bands, Dick Jokes, now has a video out there on the interwebs. Louis Smith (of the Gideons) spent a whole day messing about with imovie and this is what he managed:

I AM DUNEDIN - By Dick Jokes.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The George Kay Experience

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of recording The George Kay Experience. They're a young band, most of them are still in high school, but have a heap of potential and did really well for their first time ever recording. We did it all in one day; four tracks completed in total. The band have kindly allowed me to post one of their songs, Poncho. Listen, enjoy and keep an ear out for these guys around Dunedin.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

An experiment..

I've been recording some of my own songs a lot recently and I've decided to work on 2 different EPs. One is already pretty much done and consists of 4 songs in various genres with several different musicians playing on it. As an experiment I've decided to record the 2nd EP relatively rawly, so I've set myself 2 rules. No reverb and No other musicians. Here's the first attempt with this in mind.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The DCC has lost the plot.

A few months ago I became unusually flabbergasted by the Dunedin City councils' inability to listen to its constituents and ability to make questionable decisions. So I started a facebook group called "The DCC has lost the plot" - which now has over 3000 members.

I wrote and recorded a protest song and posted it on youtube around about the time of the groups creation and a few weeks later decided to record the song "properly" with a full band. This is the result.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Sounding good live..

Here's a great article on how musicians and sound engineers can work together to get the best possible sound in a live scenario. Well worth a look for performing musicians and live sound engineers. Too often one side dictates rather than listens with the resulting compromise andfrustration producing an average to sub par sounding show.

On that note today I will be running sound for 12 hours in the Dunedin town hall.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Album release

Well the Sex with Bowie album release at Chicks Hotel was a good old time. We hired Dreich McCulloch to bring in his full KV2 system and engineer the show which seemed to give Hector, the venue manager, quite a fright. As we were setting up Hector, with a somewhat pained look on his face, exlaimed "I just don't get it!" I tried to make a joke about it but it didn't go down very well.

As a sound engineer I really, really hate going to gigs that sound like shit. As a performer I really, really hate sounding like shit. The week before I ran sound for a band at the same venue and they sounded like shit. Chicks has two of the dreaded "Poshing" brand high/mid bins which are harsh sounding to put it politely. Chicks is tiny and for many shows their system is adequate. Admittedly the system we hired was far larger than required but I kind of like having more than necessary. It's part of Sex with Bowie's appetite for excess. KV2 rigs are, frankly, amazing sounding PA systems and can be run at low volumes with a flat response across the frequency spectrum; I'd used the system before so I knew it would work. Bad sound is something that can ruin live music for your average punter and turn them off of it for ever.

Dreich did a fantastic job and is unreasonably reasonable when it comes to charging for his time, effort, mad skillz and outstanding rig. If you want to sound better than you ever have give him a bell.

Dreich also recorded the sets from all 3 bands, you can download "Mr Hands" here - google mr hands if you have no idea who he is/was. Thanks also to Lucinda McConnon for the fantastic photos.

A huge thanks to all of those that came out and helped us cover our costs.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

2 new Sex with Bowie tracks

I just finished mastering the album; well, pretty much. I'll probably continue to tweak it leading right up to the day we actually print off the artwork and put the first few records together. It's funny trying to master an album like this. There's already so much distortion on everything it becomes hard telling the difference between the compressor's distortion and what's actually on record. Ha, it's almost becoming part of our sound.

Anyway, fuck it, here's the first 2 tracks from the album: Baby Panadol and The Bainful Truth.

Baby Panadol

The Bainful Truth

Friday, September 4, 2009

Sex with Bowie "Absolute Beginners" album release.

So we're releasing our second album "Absolute Beginners" next Saturday the 12th of September at Chicks Hotel. We'll have Thundercub and The Gideons along for the ride, and it should be a good time.

This show will also be the Dunedin debut of the SEX WITH BOWIE DJS (myself and Logan). We've played a few times up in Wellington and it's usually all kinds of times. We'll be playing stuff like Phil Collins, Tears for Fears, Huey Lewis and The News and excerpts from the bible read by William Shatner.

9pm doors. The Gideons are on at 9:30 and if you're in Dunedin you should try not to miss it because they hardly ever play live and are totally amazing.

To celebrate the celebration I've put our "acclaimed" first album, Corporate Karoke Function, online which you can download for free in it's entirety. Enjoy.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Right at this moment

I am recording the Biff Merchants playing live in Sammys for a pilot show called Off The Cuff.

The Biffs are a fantastic Psychedelic Pop band from Dunedin with a great album out called Harold; also recorded in Sammys by my buddy Stu Harwood.

Here's some photos (taken on Andy Biff's cell phone):

Will post an mp3 asap!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Music = Freedom.. if you allow it

I just read a great article by Bob Lefsetz, of the Lefsetz Letter. I've been following his blog for about a year now and while I disagree with about a third of his opinions, and he comes from a completely different part of the world/industry, he's often beautifully insightful. This post is definitely worth a read if you're aiming to work/exist/survive in the music industry.

Today I'll be recording a young band, still in high school, called The George Kay Experience. George Kay is my old english teacher at Otago Boys' High School and a renowned music journalist in New Zealand. He's written for many major music magazines including Rip It Up and Real Groove among others. I remember fondly sitting in his class listening to his opinions on people like Billy Corgan and the Gallagher brothers when I was 15 or so; he thought Billy was a wanker and that Oasis were a bunch of chumps who'd accidentally made it big and knew it. I can't remember what he said about Bono... I really wish I could.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

This week..

On Wednesday night I recorded most of a song from my "solo" album. I've finished 4 songs and this one is the 5th. The band consists of a some seriously high caliber musicians which makes each session a total joy..

Drums: Samdrub Dawa. This guy is a rhythm freak. Unfortunately he hasn't been captured on any significant (i use that word loosely, we are based in dunedin after all) releases which is a shame but will no doubt be remedied as time goes on and people discover how good he is.

Bass: Bugs (Chris Miller) of Tono and The Finance Company and Sex with Bowie. oh.. and The Verlaines!
. Bugs plays pretty much anything. Look out for his solo group The Something Quartet.

Vocals/Accoustic Guitars: Anthonie Tonnon aka Tono. A vocal genius. Able to do what I ask and so, so much more.

That forms the core of the group. I've had Ralph Miller from RFM play trumpet and Aidan Fraser, who also played in RFM, play some piano.

It's not finished; needs vocals and a few other things need to be over dubbed, but I thought I'd upload it as it is now anyways.. unmixed and all that.

Listen here.

Last night I had the pleasure of recording a track with Soulseller. About 9 months ago I recorded their debut EP with the most ghetto recording setup you could imagine. Last night we recorded in the atrium outside Radio One, a large glass and brick structure with incredible acoustics. Once I mix the track I'll post it. It was pretty huge. We were lucky enough to stumble on some really good mics for it as well. Always a sound engineer pleasure.

Straight after the session I had to boost over to the starters bar and run sound for Smashproof; a South Auckland Hip Hop group. That was totally bizarre. I couldn't help but think that Hip Hop in New Zealand has totally been and gone and is now dying a high volume, bass heavy death. From the clothes and behaviour of the image conscious performers I was also reminded of how 80s hair metal is looked by the mainstream now.

I wonder if hip hop we'll be seen as some kind of brief, sexualised cash cow that we're all embarrassed about 10 or 20 years from now?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Finally.. some new recordings

I've been a bit slack lately updating because I've been so busy recording a bunch of different projects. As well as that I'm pretty sure I had swine flu for awhile there, not good times.

Thanks to Gareth from Fea St Hustle I've finally got somewhere to host some music which was also holding me back a little.

So to celebrate here's two new tracks from two different bands. The first one is an instrumental called Throwback by Products Hit Parade; a 60s psychedelic band heavily influenced by the Brian Jonestown Massacre. We recorded 4 songs which they're going to release as an EP 1 saturday about 2 weeks ago.

Click here to listen/download it.

The second song is also an instrumental, tentatively titled "Friday night doom in Dunedin". It's a hybrid noise/doom track with myself on Drums and my good friend Gordon Duncan on guitars and bass. Gordon also plays guitar in the live Sex with Bowie band. I think this song is going towards Gordon's own project: Dancing Naked In The Mind Field.

Click here to listen/download it.

In other news the second Sex with Bowie album; "Absolute Beginners", will be released at Chicks Hotel on September 12th.

Enjoy the music. There's much, much more to come.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Sex with Bowie on RDU..

Hilariously Sex with Bowie are number one on Christchurch's B-net station RDU. That's pretty awesome that a song which we wrote and recorded within 2 hours for $0 (and where I clearly mess up the drum beat during the intro) is getting some airplay.

Thanks to all who voted.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Free Audio Host?

Does anybody know of a decent free host for mp3s that doesn't have any bollocks pre download 30 second wait times or advertising screens?


Hey there, and welcome to the FSOE blog. The purpose of this blog is to attempt to get out some of the music being made by a certain group of musicians based in Dunedin, New Zealand. There are several different bands that are constantly creating and recording based around my studio and the write/record/improvise/find humor/all at once method of making music.

Some of these bands include: The Gideons, Sex with Bowie and Dick Jokes. There are many others made up of various members of these groups and our friends. I've uploaded a few tracks to get you up to speed including songs from SWBs first album "Coporate Karoke Function", The Gideons latest record "Matter" and some unreleased stuff from Dick Jokes. All of this stuff is recorded, mixed and mastered by yours truley. Sometimes not mixed. Sometimes not mastered. It goes without saying, being that we are all entrepreneurs at heart, that should you wish to purchase any music just get in touch with me through this blog.

At least one of these bands record something every week so I aim to post up at least one entry with mp3s of the recordings made each and every week.

There aren't very many places to play in Dunedin and pretty much no record stores so it's almost impossible to put music out. The rest of the country basically ignores anything that comes out of here even though there's a lot of mind blowing stuff being created. This blog is an attempt to get stuff out quickly to anyone who may be interested.

I haven't been able to find a decent free host which offers a direct link for enclosure links used by embedded audio players so I've just posted the links below.


Sex with Bowie:
Dick Jokes:
The Gideons: