Stupidly Happy

Cool and Groovy Blog graphic by Stevie C

and content, for once

24th Feb 2014 - 21st April 2014…

What’s Up?

I went along to the Australian Pink Floyd Show at the Edinburgh Usher Hall, and while it was nice to be at a gig that I wasn’t involved with in any way (hopefully one day…) - I still had the “Oh! That looks like a Molefay-8!”, “Oh! That looks like an Atomic 3000 DMX”, “Oh! That looks like a Soundcraft SI”, “Oh! Those look like Logic Systems” and so on…

They didn’t have a massive mirror ball for the guitar solo of Comfortably Numb this time. I love how in every other show of theirs I’ve been to - and I’ve been to just about every one since they started playing in The Caird Hall Dundee - the lights on the band normally fade out gradually, and you can see the mirror ball (we’re talking about at least 2 meters in diameter - not the 16" ones I install in pubs & nightclubs) slowly ascending into place… In the dim stage light, you can also make out every moving head moving into position (pointing right at the mirror ball) - and when the guitar solo kicks in, some stage lighting comes up, and every single moving head hits the mirror ball with open white… I also loved how just as you thought you’d seen all the lights they had to offer, along came another effect just to prove you wrong - like the SHINP-style Laser for example (I’m still amazed by how much can be achieved just by using different colors and gobos and sequences etc). I can’t describe how amazing the experience is (except I could feel my brain going into Interstellar Overdrive at the onslaught of pretty lights). Or was.

Stevie C at the Australian Pink Floyd Show Edinburgh Usher Hall

That Kangaroo gives me (more) nightmares :)

Other gigs I’ve been to include The Bucky Rage at Beat Generator and the Korova Conspiracy nights at The Salty Dog Dundee (on the first Saturday of every month) where I’m still providing lights (not as amazing as Aussie Floyd’s, unfortunately) for their “mini-Rhumba of Eclectic Electronic Edits”. My Soundlab scanners are starting to act up…
I also had a Battle Of The Bands event in March at Abertay Students’ Union - where I was somewhat converted to the idea of digital mixing consoles (it didn’t do Vegas Mode, sadly). I now know exactly how my grandparents feel about Windows 8 - as it’s exactly how I feel about a Behringer X32 or Soundcraft SI.
I’ve also been doing a bit of DJing - well, playing music in a pub, not exactly the same thing…
I’ve also been asked to help with setting up lights and sound for a new pub/club in Dundee, but more on that below…

The Bucky Rage live at Beat Generator in all their God-like lighting glory…

The Bucky Rage live at Beat Generator in all their God-like lighting glory… :)

Still an official RFL

I wrote to Karl Kuenning some time ago to apply for inclusion into his coveted “Roadie For Life” status. I was duly accepted (either because of my Roadie Jobs profile or my website - who knows?) and still am a RFL to date. At this stage I’m wondering if that status would still be applicable if I went off and did other things - but still remained a Roadie at Heart (obviously). As I haven’t made up my mind as to whether it’s the regulars or reserves I will be joining yet (assuming I’m accepted in), I may very well remain a Roadie For Life. At least there is something very close to me that I can always fall back on. Now, if only I had the contacts with which to attain my career goal.

I’m still in the grip of a quarter-life crisis.

Work/Gigs - Advice?

Having had nothing come of the jobs I’ve applied for on Stage Jobs Pro (and without the funds to pay for a full year’s subscription), I was beginning to get the feeling of “Oh No - Not Another 11 Months Of Being Treated Like Scum By The Job Center Staff While Waiting For Occasional Work Or Panto Season Again”. I was subsequently asked to help design & implement the lighting and sound systems for a new pub/club in Dundee.

I’m used to a client’s “Oh, we don’t want to spend a lot of money” - because let’s face it, who does? The problem with the above is that, while you may save money in the short term, you get what you pay for in the long term. There’s a reason why some clubs can easily spend half a million on a re-furb - that said however, it’s not so much what you have but what you choose to do with what you have that counts. Don’t get me started on the stuff required by law - some of it is just sense (like GFIs for example - which are no longer optional under the 17th Edition Regs), the rest is absolute bureaucratic jobs-worth cash-cow stupidity (or ‘elf n safety gone mad if you like). It’s been a busy few days.

During one such day, we had several people approach us enquiring about bar jobs - and one person offering his lighting and sound services (which kind of puts me on the spot a little). There’s something unnerving about installing a club system while someone below is telling your boss how they can provide a much better system. Maybe I’ll forward my CV to him - we have after all already met.

Advice? Get everything in writing, be absolutely clear about what’s expected of me and keep invoices/receipts. Two out of three is an OK start…
But borrowing bus money is not fun. Surely the idea of getting work is earning money, not becoming out of pocket for the pleasure of working? I have been assured that I will be ok - but have nothing in writing - working for friends and all… Worst case scenario, I’m falling foul of my own “Don’t Work For Free” mantra - but when It’s giving me something to do in something I love, I have to be careful of where the balance lies. All I know is, if I end up getting paid in beer (or Strongbow’s new Dark Fruits cider) - I’ll require at least 3 kegs worth plus parts/equipment. Somehow, that doesn’t seem too shabby (as long as I’m also kept out of the Jobless Center - the joys of the Rock n Roll lifestyle).

I’m still awaiting payment from a basement nightclub in Dundee for services rendered, but as they closed down shortly after opening… Karma.

Putting aside the fact that SECTT have still not replied (time is running out to start an electrical apprenticeship), The NAS are of no help, my Local MP is utterly useless and clueless to boot; and both the Tory & Scottish government have decided that as I have a degree, I have no need for ILA funding for other courses - be they a Personal License, a stage lighting course, a CSCS card or any of the British Standards courses (specifically electrical safety, emergency lighting or temporary site electrical qualifications for venue and freelance personnel) - well played… Muppets.

Foley, et al.

That squeaky floorboard in my utility room would sound amazing being processed by a harmonics filter and a lot of compression. Those in-ear mics and portable recorder are no nearer the top of that ever-expanding list. Lights, speakers, AV - so much stuff and so little time. My life is like that Zurich ad - where the businesses changed their business model every 5 seconds. Should I ever have access to a time machine - I know what I have to do, sort of. I’m already another year older…

I’m maybe not going to remix/remaster those tunes, I’m maybe not going to record more Foley and I’m maybe not going to keep writing audio-related software. I could use the hard drive space. At this rate, a job in audio is moving further and further away - but I must keep trying. What else if none of my 6 or 7 career choices?

Weird Musical Feelings: Update

If you remember, I have always held a belief that certain pieces of music can evoke certain emotional responses.

I’m not sure why Oasis tunes in particular elicit such a response from me. Bring It On Down D’you Know What I Mean? One Way Road Half The World Away. Where Did It All Go Wrong? Maybe I just felt amazing the first time I listened to them and the music brings back those feelings of amazingness. Maybe it’s like my theory of alcohol being a mood amplifier (as opposed to just a bog-standard depressant). Yes, it is a depressant, and if you’re having “down” thoughts, alcohol will amplify them and depress you. Whereas, if you are having “up” thoughts - those will be amplified instead. I read somewhere (“Munch, where did you get that?” “The Internet!”) that musicians et al who are stuck for inspiration should have a few pints, followed by a few coffees. The alcohol will give the inspiration and creativity needed for new ideas - while the coffee will make sure you have the stickitivity to see the idea through to the end, or at least well into the development stages. I can testify to this - my entire first and second albums were composed with Cubase, Reason, a MIDI keyboard - and enough alcohol to floor a Chocobo, a Heffalump and a Hippogriff.

Some of my own music even has the WMF. I’m sitting on Cubase plinking and plonking away (“Yup, that’s a chord!”) and I like the way something sounds. No musical theory, or very little anyway. That’s why I make music - I like the sounds, and some of them just happen to have the WMF. I make music for me, which is probably why no-one else likes it. :)

Why I’m Stupidly Happy

Somebody in this world wants to hug me. That’s it. :)
(The hugs are wearing off - but at least I know there’s more where they came from.)

One More Thing…

The unveiling of the Bon Scott statue is going to be delayed to coincide with the 2015 Kirriemuir Facelift operation - or whatever the council have called it. However, The Bon Scott Statue still needs your help - click him to find out how you can help.
He’s not going to click himself. :)

Stevie’s Top 40

I should probably point out that unlike my profile, these Top 40 are just the songs I love the most at the moment - not necessarily what’s been played the most or been recently added.

  1. Stupidly Happy XTC
  2. Dear God XTC
  3. D’you Know What I Mean? Oasis
  4. 19 Paul Hardcastle
  5. Tidal Wave (feat. Alpines) Sub Focus
  6. You Make It Better (feat. Culture Shock & TC) Sub Focus
  7. Soldiers Make Good Targets Stereophonics
  8. Pass The Buck Stereophonics
  9. Raised On Rock Scorpions
  10. Fancyman Blues The Rolling Stones
  11. High As The Ceiling Stereophonics
  12. Now Or Never (Original Mix) Tritonal
  13. Slutgarden Marilyn Manson
  14. Devour Marilyn Manson
  15. Monkey Crunk Opiuo
  16. Out The Blue Sub Focus
  17. T-Shirt Sun Tan Stereophonics
  18. mOBSCENE Marilyn Manson
  19. What You Want (Jimmy Edgar Dub Mix) Boys Noize
  20. Swing Star (Part 2) Todd Terje
  21. By Any Means Necessary Goldie Lookin Chain
  22. Space Police Goldie Lookin Chain
  23. She Don’t Want It Black Earth
  24. In Yer Face 808 State
  25. Don’t Stop The Dance (Todd Terje Remix) Bryan Ferry
  26. Satellite Don Chani
  27. Doctorin The House Coldcut
  28. Out Of Reach (feat. Jaydelldee) Sub Focus
  29. Endorphins (feat. Alex Claire, Fred V & Grafix Remix) Sub Focus
  30. Bad Guy Eminem
  31. Bumper Ball Dub (Karmacoma) Massive Attack
  32. Rock You Like A Hurricane Scorpions
  33. Gas Panic! Oasis
  34. Supersonic Oasis
  35. Apathy Goldie Lookin Chain
  36. Play For Today The Cure
  37. Girl Stereophonics
  38. Death Machine Motörhead
  39. Might As Well Be On Mars Alice Cooper
  40. I’m Not Like Everybody Else The Kinks

Echo Echo Echo Echo Echo Echo Echo Echo Echo …