As previously mentioned, the Skullfinger CD’s arrived from the plant the other day (I got ’em made at Precision Discs, great service and quality, recommended) so then it was just a matter of waiting for the custom Skullfinger guitar picks to arrive from Grover Allman in Australia. The first 30 copies of the Skullfinger CD come with a bonus guitar pick!
So stoked. This is what they look like:
With all the pieces in place, I decided to immediately make advance copies available for public purchase at Long & McQuade in Kamloops. After the first 30 copies, the picks will not be available – Limited Edition oohhhh yeahhhhh.
Skullfinger is one of my biggest and most serious and fun projects ever, quite happy about the results. It’s far more “mainstream” than my experimental stuff – I say it’s basically a “rock” album because every song has vocals and guitars. Rock includes classical, funk and reggae as well, of course. Ten originals, one cover tune. I love the puzzles contained in music: the title track “Turn Down The Quiet” all started as an adventure in brewing up various timing combos into a 21/8 framework. Like I say, this is my mainstream stuff, L.O.L.
Swimming in the long tail and loving it!
Last Saturday I found some sweet deals at the Record Store! Barnacle Records had their sticker sale for the Spring Festival. Green dot = $2, yellow dot = $3, red dot = $5. Look what I got… Chet Atkins, Eddy Grant, Jon & Vangelis, Rick Wakeman (each tune describes one of Henry VIII’s wives), Gowan, Human League (all keyboards, no guitars or basses) …and Desperate Minds!
D.M.S. was a local punk band who were slightly before my time, like just very slightly. In high school I saw these awesome zombie-faced stickers plastered on lockers and whatnot, before I knew there was any such thing as a “local music scene”.
In Sadistic Humor I think we played our first gig with them at the I.O.O.F., but I don’t remember much about that since I was probably wrapped up in my own little world of guitaristic concerns. Of course, the music scene being a friendly environment, I ended up meeting and befriending some of these people, who were not as intimidating as I might have naively guessed based on the perhaps angry-looking sticker.
So, basically those rad screaming-face stickers, instead of their music, is what I remember most about the artistic output of D.M.S.. There seems to have been several bands with screaming face images form that era of my life: Eddie the Corpse from Iron Maiden, the S.N.F.U. shirts, and sweet-hearted punker chicks wearing their Cramps “Bad Music For Bad People” t-shirts. *sigh *
Finding this Desperate Minds record now, 3 decades later, was a chance to finally put a sound to the memory of that sticker which had somehow made a lasting impression on me at VVJS.
So, I listened to the record and quite enjoyed it. It’s high-energy, fast and light. Good vocals, lots of boo-chee beats – way better sound quality than most of the demo tapes all us other bands were making back in the day. I’ll probably spin it again sometime. I wish I had one of those stickers.
By the way… a lot of people have Inner Anger’s blue record but I have the Purple tape. Bragging.
In music theory, the Modes of the Major Scale are 7 scales made from one scale, through the process of starting on every successive note. For example, if you start on the 2nd note of the Major Scale, Mode 2 is created. Since there are 7 notes in the Major Scale, 7 Modes can be created from it. The Modes can be referred by number, but they also have Greek names such as Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, etcetera.
Each Mode has its own “mood,” determined mathematically by its “interval contents,” which means the distance of each note from the starting note. For example, the Phrygian Mode has a “flat 2” which makes it sound “darker” than most of the other Modes. Once upon a time I thought, “The Modes can be ordered according to their brightness or darkness – there is a brightest and a darkest, just like the phases of the Moon!” I think about these sorts of things… patterns and correlations.
So, I ordered the Modes in terms of brightness:
Next, I attempted to make these Mode names act as labels on a diagram of the Moon phases. Sure enough, it all lines up perfectly:
Nix Nihil is in town and he’s all like, “let’s hang out and do some recording,” and I’m all like, “it’s a plan!” So I scoured through some half-baked lyric ideas I’ve got lying around and we spiffed ’em up all ripe-and-ready for another new Lex Plexus track. This one’s 160 bpm but leaning towards the half-time vibe, so really 80. This one’s going to be minimalist in comparison to the two tracks from the Sleepcaster EP, with only eight lines of verbage… I’m looking forward to some pretty severe sample manipulation.