Monday Musical Madness

In which, notwithstanding the name, sporadic musical clips are posted for your aural edification Mostly mondays, sometimes with an extended edition. suggestions welcome

If you're here, you shouldn't be, because the blog has changed a bit


To prove I don't just cover Half Man Half Biscuit and The Smiths...

... I'm covering another Northern English band which heavily influenced my formative years. The Wedding Present This time round, it's "Blue Eyes", track one from the Hit Parade albums, which open the intriguing possibility of covering all twelve hit parade singles in order, if I can muster the dedication required to arrange and learn all twelve tracks.     As is traditional at the moment, the cover was played on my Cordoba tenor ukulele, my aNueNue concert banjulele and my MusicMan Stingray electric bass - with support of Roland amplification - into my Yamaha USB mixer via a Behringer Condenser mic and thence to Audacity, in what I've...

Bigmouth Strikes Again - on the ukulele

OK, so this is one of my favourite Smiths songs to play on the guitar - so I figured I should probably learn it on the uke too, and do a cover. Which proved slightly trickier to arrange than I'd expected. The song is in C#m, and results in, shall we say, not a perfect set of chords on the uke. It's played with a capo on the fourth fret in most guitar versions. I could simply play it in a different key, but that results in a trickier bassline with different open strings (and I know the C# one quite well), and...

Running The Gauntlet

Stop That Astronaut - Running The Gauntlet by StopThatAstronaut I've been wanting to do a cover of this for ages. This lovely little track is from Les Claypool and the Holy Mackerel's 1996 album "Highball with The Devil", and I first heard it not long after the release when Alun Vaughan lent me a tape including superb bass tracks by Les Claypool and Victor Wooten. That tape properly switched my brain on to what bass could do when freed from the constraints of merely being in the rhythm section. So anyway, I felt like doing an ukulele cover...

This Charming Man

At the risk of saturating every syndication channel I have, here's what I got up to this weekend:   I have adored this song since I first heard it back in my teens. As an angst-ridden hormonal teenager I simultaneously agonised and triumphalised to The Smiths. As a trainee drunkard, I sang this song at the top of my voice with my friend Glyn, several ill-advised vodkas, rums and whiskeys providing the fuel. As a (so called) responsible adult, The Smiths have followed me home and made me happy, sad and heart-poppingly proud to be a British indie kid of a certain...

Having an emo moment? Think how this guy feels.

The Pain Of Being Different (demo) by StopThatAstronaut Yeah, I know. But I had to do it. Track recorded by me at Zombie-Proof Studios on Epiphone SG, Fender Jazz Bass, Epiphone MandoBird VIII and Sanchez electro-acoustic soprano ukulele. Horrible bass phaser provided by my Roland bass cube. Vocal effect by Killerringer. Note, it says "(demo)". Why? Well, because pretty much every track I laid down was a first-take, more-important-to-get-it-done-than-get-it-right effort, and because I was still writing the words as I was putting down the music. So it's far from perfect. Chances are, though, I won't get round to doing...

I feel I have passed a test...

... in that I did a Tom Waits cover and The Reverend Doktor Bob gave it a stamp of approval. Tango Till They're Sore by StopThatAstronaut Let me tell you. Half Man Half Biscuit covers are easy. I've been toying with Tom Waits material for an absolute age and haven't ever got one I'm even remotely happy with. Tom is too distinctive in writing, lyricism and delivery. And his choice of musicians and instruments (and of course his own playing style) makes it shockingly hard to take something of Tom's and not end up with a...

Things You Can't Say In Victoria

Things You Can't Say In Victoria by StopThatAstronaut My little gift to the Victorian Government. If they were to fine me per "offensive word", this little ditty would net them $3900. But they can get fucked. Original idea by Dave The Happy Singer, for which I'm eternally grateful. Music, lyrics, production and all that nonsense by me. You are free, I say, free, to cover this song anywhere you like, as long as you let me know you've done it and, if possible, provide a link to a recording. G Ya can't say goddamn in Glenrowan C ...

Monday Musical Madness: It's not monday, so here's some Smiths


Monday Musical Madness on a Tuesday: Those Singing Tesla Coils again

  Now, while you're listening... The Australian Vacccination Network are running a seminar tonight in Perth, WA. It's causing a small shitstorm of controversy Please, if you're in the area, or if you're online and feel like helping out, please do. StopAVN on Facebook is active, #stopavn on Twitter is active, and a new blog has been established purely for the WA effort. Do it. I gave you Tesla Coils, now you give me some pro-science muscle.

Monday Musical Madness... egocentrism edition

Aloha! Yes, it's me. Being drunk and stoopid on my new aNueNue Banjulele.   This is the kind of thing that happens after a few bottles of Coopers at my place. In other news, Skepticator is sitting at 16,70416 articles from 3523 feeds (yes, it updated as I was typing), and side-project land continues much as before, with SydneyPubGuide's new CMS largely ready to go and awaiting a new, flashy web 2.0 skin for the front-end development. Sydney Pub Guide is on Twitter, of course, so feel free to send me a tweet. A purely Atheist feed version of Skepticator is sitting on...

Monday Musical Madness arrives five and a quarter hours early...

... because I'm afraid I just couldn't wait. Today we have an act which I just could not hold off until tomorrow MUSICAL... TESLA COILS   This might be the greatest and nerdiest thing I've ever seen.

Monday Musical Madness returns with.... ME!

Yep, I'm the new hotness for Monday Musical Madness, unashamedly placing myself among the ranks of previous greats such as Captain Beefheart, Tom Waits and Focus. OK, so I'm not that good, but I have a new Half Man Half Biscuit vid recorded last night at about 1am. It's "Outbreak of Vitas Gerulaitas", which I think was the first song I ever saw HMHB play live (Oct or Nov '99 at the Mean Fiddler in Harlesden). I accousticised it a bit, since it's just me and a guitar, and I'm sort of pleased with the result, even if the vocal is a...

Announcing: Sydney Ukulele and Beers Meetup

Yes, Myself and good mate James Taylor decided, over a couple of glasses of wine and some rousing choruses of "Creep", "Light at the End of the Tunnel" and "When I'm Cleaning Windows", to start a meetup group here in Sydney for those interested in: Drinking a beer or two Playing songs on ukulele Having a laugh To join, you must fulfill at least two, preferably three of the above criteria and join the Facebook Group "Sydney Ukulele 'n' Beers Meetup". We're currently in the process of finding a venue for the...

And now, on a lighter note, Monday Musical Madness Returns...

... on a Saturday.

Aretha Franklin dismembering Sarah Brightman with a chainsaw

Yep, that's how I described the tone of my new guitar last night: She's an Epiphone G400 SG, bought on a surprise budget spike. It's been some time since I last added a guitar to my collection, and this one is a goody. Two big humbuckers sitting at neck and bridge give it far more power and versatility than my previous electric, the also-pictured Squier Telecaster, which was bought, again, on more-or-less a whim when helping Chris choose a guitar. I've had it since yesterday lunchtime, so haven't racked up a lot of playtime yet, but I have so far found it...

Almost Monday Musical Madness

Look, it's 9:35pm on a Sunday night, and I know I could have waited another couple of hours and actually got this in as a genuine MMM item, but, well, fuck. It's too good. You see, it is possible to buy a cold-war era gas mask, and through the aplication of some simple technology, turn said gas mask into a giant, freakish, terrifying KAZOO. So without further ado, I give you the Chemical Wartet playing Leonard Cohen's haunting "Hallelujah"

Critical Mass Podcast #4 has arrived

Yes, you heard right, Critical Mass #4 is available here. Featuring Ian Woolf, hosting, Dave The Happy Singer, Alan Conradi and some drunken madguy-bloke-type-thing. Music has become a touch more prominent in this edition, with contributions from Dave The Happy Singer, Baby Hammer Death, and Boxxy. There's also a lot of namedroppery, and many lulz. Note: the Oxford Comma in the music sentence is there for a reason, just in case you think less of me. So, anyway, the song halfway through is based on Adam Green's "Jessica" and was a first-take production of FlightPath Studios. Yes, it was my doing, one night...

Thursday Musical Madness: This Was A Triumph

In honour of having put out the recycling for the first time this year, here's some epic win, which, while old, is still some of the finest songwriting attached to one of the finest games of, oh, the last ever. GLadOS: Still Alive And the accoustic version, from the creator: Jonathan Coulton, Internet Superstar. Hopefully this is sufficient triumph to keep my avid readers satiated, since my intention to blog from the pub was stymied by Telstra's mobile broadband being NOT WIN* on Windows7 Beta * for "not win" read FAIL.

Monday Musical Madness. Yes, it's Wednesday, but this is important

This is Mark Gormley Mark Gormley is your musical future Mark Gormley stands like THIS: O /ll\ / l He has POWERSTANCE and you don't. Mark Gormley has been to the top of the mountains, and has returned to us with his message. Mark Gormley HAS BEEN TO SPACE Mark Gormley once made Chuck Norris cry through the power of song Bow down before Mark Gormley p.s. Mark Gormley makes me forget what day it is. Apparently, it's Thursday. More proof of Mark Gormley's awesome powers. MOAR!

Monday Musical Madness: Even more Ukulele

Bitches don't know about Uke tech

Monday Musical Madness: On death and thereafter

Oh, @the_chasers, you're made of pure win! Oh, the beeped word is CUNTS, in case you couldn't figure it.

Monday Musical Madness: Modest Mouse, Man

Modest Mouse ::dashboard:: from grace lee on Vimeo. YoooToooob has all of MM's official videos embed-embargoed because they're with the fundamentally evil really nice Sony/BMG records. So I got the FAIL, autoplaying official player via Resolution is small, but music is goooood. I used Vimeo instead Some things of note: Isaac Brock is seemingly obsessed with the sea/the ocean/hemingway themes/salty sea-doggery I would personally sacrifice both your parents to have even an iota of Isaac's songwriting ability Banjo is win Every MM bassline is brilliant, even...

Monday Musical Madness breaks with tradition by appearing on a Monday

"Hey, are you knackered man?" "No, I'm Jan Akkerman!" Focus. Hocus Pocus

Monday Musical Madness Slightly Early Ukelele Edition

So, I did some music shopping today. Among my purchases were a Yamaha Audiogram USB interface with Cubase, a cheapo ukulele and some guitar gear. Oh, and some minor percussion. My intent to fit out the spare room as a studio is beginning to come to fruition. The Alienware Area 51 is now pretty much static and will be the recording box, leaving only for occasional jams out in the field and perhaps a podcast recording or two. Rik commented on the studio idea, and suggested I look up some GUGUG, to which I replied thusly: I already have, in fact I...

Wednesday Musical Madness?? The dead rose, and told me I had to do it today

Zombie. Ghost. Train. First, the official video Then, something a little more live Enjoy!

Monday Musical Madness

How could I have overlooked... DREAD ZEPPELIN!?!? Zeppelin + Elvis + Reggae = Musical Genius With bonus Immigrant Song

Friday Musical Madness

Ukulele Orchestra Of Great Britain: Smells Like Teen Spirit

Monday Musical Madness returns... on a friday night???

In honour of Tom Waits's new tour, recently announced, I present this segment of his movie "Big Time". This segment was chosen because it includes the level best, absolute finest rendition of Raindogs, along with a mighty fine Tall Story, followed by Train Song. Follow the entire clip for both gems, then use YouTube's related clips to find the rest of the movie. Suffice it to say I'm fine, very happy, guilt free.

Monday Musical Madness - Men's Edition

Specifically, Spooky Men's Edition The Spooky Men's Chorale, out of the valleys and crags of NSW's Blue Mountains, come with a distinctively masculine outlook on life, and beards. And hats. One of them once had a feeling. They perform regularly around Sydney and indeed worldwide, and you can find more spooky info at their website. Yes, this is another MMM addition which I've seen live. Repeatedly.

Monday Musical Madness - Wow, It's Actually Monday Edition!

Devo's far-superior-to-the-original-in-my-humble-opinion-which-is-the-only-one-that-counts rendition of 'Satisfaction', from 'Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!' A selection which is almost guaranteed to polarise my (admittedly small) audience and spark debate from here to Humpty-Doo*. It's not often a cover can claim to outshine the original, though some standouts exist (ref: The Flaming Lips covering 'Seven Nation Army' live), and some notable failures from some of my favourite bands are at least of interest. I believe this is the first MMM cover version though, and may signal a new landscape opening before us. If only I could come up with a new...

Monday... err... I mean, um, Wednesday Musical Madness

I sometimes wonder quite why I stated this Monday Musical Madness Mallarkey. Clearly it wasn't for ease of scheduling, because Mondays never work the way you want them to. Perhaps it was just the alliterative title, enhanced as it is by appending 'Mallarkey'. Maybe Making Maximum Monday Musical Madness Mallarkey Moniker Makes Mention Moot? OK, so it's Wednesday. who cares? We Want More Beer.

Monday Musical Madness Extra Edition

Screw it, sometimes things are too good to resist and leave till later. It's been sporadic the last few weeks, so here's a bonus MMM. Half Man Half Biscuit (one of my favourite bands and one I had the pleasure of last seeing live in 1999), on a subject close to my heart, Restless Legs

I thought I'd seen it all

boy, was I wrong. So, so wrong. In other news, doesn't time fly? Lack of time to post here can only be ascribed to one thing: LOTRO. I'm running five characters at the moment, all on the Silverlode server. [names redacted] These five may be joined by others, depending on how much free time presents itself - I'm trying to find an optimum balance of a) craft skills and b) playability. If anyone's intersted in fellowshipping, drop me a /msg or a postal item in-game. My technet blog is over at and Monday Musical Madness today is: Tom Waits Nominations for next week's MMM are being accepted right now -...

Monday Musical Madness Post-Hiatus edition

Yep, it's been a while, so here for your edification is an old classic. The Flaming Lips: "Talking 'bout the smiling deathporn immortality blues"

Monday Musical Madness Tuesday Edition

OK, so I missed yesterday. Sue me. Anyway, Trent nominated Derek Trucks for today's musical Madness, so I went one step further Crossroads guitar solo from Doyle Bramhall II, Derek Trucks and Eric Clapton - Live in Seoul, Korea. Korean noodle soup.

Wow, a whole week since my last post?

Must have been busy... Oh yeah, that's right. I was. Anyway, on to business. What's going on in the world? Well, The Cold War Kids played the Forum (Entertainment Quarter, formerly Fox Studios) on Friday night, in the last show of their current tour. I expected, well, not a hell of a lot - I've got the album, and while it's definitely damn good, the production gives it a slightly flat character, and isn't the most standout album of the past year by any means. Post-show, if they released a live album, I'd be first in the queue. Yes, commitment was the watchword of...

Monday Musical Madness Late Edition

Oh, I can never resist posting another one. This time it's a band that's featured once before - Bela Fleck And The Flecktones. The focus this time is firmly and squarely on the unbelievable Victor Wooten, Bass God and thumper of the big strings extraordinaire Watch what happens at 2:58 and marvel at the commitment and sheer musical audacity that results. And now, breaking with tradition - two artists in the same post. Captain Beefheart. Ice Cream For Crow Enough said.

Monday Musical Madness Early Edition

OK, it's Sunday. So what? This is musical Madness we're talking about And today brings us Captured! By Robots Confused? all is explained, here:

Monday Musical Madness: Bob Log III

 Yes, he's a one-man-band-in-a-crash-helmet-n-jumpsuit-playing-crazy-licks-n-kickin-some-drums-n-drinkin-scotch-n-gettin-the-girls-in-the-crowd-to-get-out-their-boobies And he's in Australia, right now, touring round and raising hell. He's Bob Log III, and he's today's Monday Musical Madness

Monday Musical Madness Super Extra Extended Edition!

It's not over yet Watermelon In Easter Hay. Barcelona, 1988

Monday Musical Madness Extended Edition

Here's your bonus track. Frank Zappa's "Inca Roads", replete with Claymation sequences.

The Monday Report, Incorporating Monday Musical Madness

We're going to Splendour In The Grass. Tickets have been acquired via a thoroughly frustrating virtual queue on the splendour/oztix website. Playing this year, among others: Arctic Monkeys, Bloc Party and The Kaiser Chiefs. Hopefully it won't piss down and hopefully we'll get a nice hotel in Byron, rather than facing the drive back to Ballina every night. This weekend? Well, Saturday was bouldering day at The Balkans, where I got the redpoint of Berlin Blockade, V5, and a number of other nice little problems. Fat boys can climb V5. This was followed by Architecture in Helsinki live at the Metro,...

The Crimea release album to the web, for free

Some old friends of mine, Davy MacManus and Owen Hopkin, have released their band's new album to the web for free. Davy and Owen used to be members of The Crocketts, who I was associated with during my pre-australia years. Check out the album, it's great. Must dash, time for the pub.

How about a little Monday afternoon musical insanity?

The incomparable Bela Fleck and the Flecktones; Bela Fleck, Victor Wooten, Jeff Coffin and Future Man. Probably the #1 live band I've ever had the privilege to see. If they pass by you, see them. Really.

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