lowstar lowdown 5 lowstardate 27th may.6
it's. been-a-good-week, we've. been-working-hard. you've. got to believe us. ok, ok, that's quite enough of the shatner-grammar, let's get on with it. what have lowstar been up to this week? well. we practised, as usual, although, unusually, it was on a toosdy. we don't really like practising on a toosdy though because it's too early in the week. but, as we rolled up to the studio to start rehearsals we thought as one, 'ah, well, could be worse, we could be stuck in the drum room'. and sure enough, a matter of moments later the tiny, wardrobe of a room was reverberating to ever-increasingly raised voices going on about 'personal space' and 'how can i fit my pedals in this tiny space' and 'hey, that's not a microphone, move away'. not that ian heard of course. we're not quite sure why, although it may have something to do with the way keith 'accidentally' flicks his volume control up after every 2 or 3 songs for the 'tonal quality', but ian brought in some industrial strength ear defenders. but we're not talking john terry and rio ferdinand here. i mean sure, they're big guys and not much gets through them, but much more than any of us would like does get through them and these defenders were better than that. in fact, if attack is the best form of defence then these ear 'attackers' were like pele, ronaldinho, maradonna, ronaldo and darren huckerby (you'll have to excuse us as the world cup is very near and we're very excited). actually, maybe they were so defensive they were actually like the nuclear 'deterant' we always used to hear so much about. the usual lowstar noise was so terrified of what would happen if it tried to take on the ear defenders that it didn't much feel like starting. no one could foresee the peace camp that arrived in time for the tea break though, and it was felt best to dismantle the ear defenders before some kind of escalation of ear defenders took place. as one of the protesters pointed out to us, 'where will it all end? there are enough ear defenders to shut the noise of the world out ten times over!'. we had to agree and have buried the offending items in 20 feet of concrete. of course it's all very well us becoming ear-defender free, but the real challenge is to get the superpowers to agree. so, come on bono, come on girls aloud... you know who you are... put the defenders down and move away. why can't we all just live in peace? or in not peace, if you see what i mean.
anyway, as we pointed out a couple of weeks ago, we're heading off to record a few songs in a couple of weeks so we spent the rehearsal going over these three songs, trying out playing along to a click track to enable us to try a few things in the studio. things like delays on the guitars should be easier and will sound better if we're locked in, and it's going well. we're also trying a few new ideas and tightening up arrangements before we go in. however, combining the two sometimes doesn't pay off and i wish i could describe the look on ian's face when keith tried something new, which - it has to be mentioned - sounded terrible!, so terrible in fact that he even put himself off and skipped a beat, throwing ian off the click and producing a minute and a half of pained expressions and discomfort. to ian's credit he was very good about it afterwards, but i think that may have been in an attempt to win the lowstar woestar award and such shameless ingratiation will have no such effect.
the main discussion between keith and magic, however, seemed to involve how many guitar tracks they would be trying out. in fact, the look of pain on ian's face during the now infamous 'dropped beat incident' was equalled by rob as he listened in to a conversation that went 'i think i'll need to do 3 guitars on this track', 'that'll be cool, i'm going to do 4, but i've got another 2 ideas i'd like to try out', 'nice one, did i say 3, i meant 6 and i want to double track them too' etc etc. although i think doubling the solo with a mandolin, might be excessive.
things are going nicely though. the tracks are coming together well, the arrangements are finalised, we just need another few run throughs to tighten up and then a bit of time to add the pretty bits round the edge. the crocuses in the flower beds round the lawn if you like. the lawn looks great though and frankly you can't play headers and volleys on flowers. in fact, sod the flowers, we want more lawn...
other than that, thursday magic and keith went to visit the studio, to have a look round and meet the guy in charge. it looks great and the best bit about it was that the biggest room is for the guitars. the drums get locked away in a kind of greenhouse, while the bass is shut off in what i'm sure will become known as 'the cooler'. it's a tiny room that looks a bit like one of those isolation shacks that bad prisoners get sent to in old movies. so that's where rob'll be and if he's not good, he'll be left there to think it over for some time.
so after all this activity, who was the lowstar woestar? well it's been tricky this week. ian maintained his excellent recent form, with another spellbinding performance and even managed to cover the mistakes of others (that means you baker) with good grace and he provided entertainment with his humungous ear phones. he also made the right noises about visiting the studio. on the other hand, he never actually made it to the studio, something about difficulty getting away, important stuff to do etc etc. magic, who's been on a roll of late, was also excellent at practise and did make the trek to the studio, where he asked some intelligent questions and had some great ideas for the recording itself. however, no one likes a smartarse and he didn't spot the fox by the railway because he was so busy thinking about how many pedals he could use in one go. keith, well, where to start... tut tut tut... the dropped beat incident? the trying too hard eagerness to check out the studio? the inept questions? spotting the fox when he should've been thinking about which pedals to use? BUCK YOUR IDEAS UP BAKER, you're putting the low into lowstar! which brings us to rob... lovely uncle rob. didn't put a foot wrong in practise, quietly sitting in the corner working out the best ways to get each song to sound the best it can without the need for flash pedals and frilly bits, but concentrating on the important bits and making them sound cool. he thinks it goes unnoticed but it doesn't. and then he capped a fine week by not even pretending to turn up to the studio. brilliant. none of this washing his hair business either. a fine example to us all... baker are you watching? why can't you be more like rob.... tut tut
been a long one today, so here's a few thoughts from the week
- if ian's ear defenders made him look like princess leia in starwars, does that make rob luke (due to his close sibling-like playing with ian, his magical lightsabre like noises from his effects unit and his innocent heroism?), magic han solo (due to his undeniable chemistry with ian, his bad boy heroism and affinity for monkeys?) and keith r2d2 (due to his strange noises that only a strange gold man could understand, his size and his constant need for others to bail him out of the trouble he gets into, eg, the infamous dropped beat incident)
- will magic's rainbow of rock even fit in the studio or will he have to run to the next room if he wants to flick on his chorus pedal?
- did rob ever resolve whether it was one or two in the second verse of the second track or is ian keeping him guessing on purpose?
- can keith even see through his hair now?
- after ian has decided to put the opening fill to the theme for the pink panther cartoon show in the middle of one of the songs, does anyone remember what the pink panther was? we've got 'so here he is the pink panther, the pink panther, isn't he a panther ever so pink, he really is a groovy cat, he's a scholar, he's a *something*, he's an acrobat, he's in the pink, the pink panther, the rinky-dink panther, and it's as plain as your nose, that he's the one and only truly original panther pink from head to toe...' but what's the something? no one knows....
- also, why did keith suddenly start singing it, how can we get it out of our heads and is it really a good thing that keith also knows the chords to jossy's giants?
er, that's it i think. the next edition will be up and ready next week, in the meantime, please send us your thoughts. anything from comments on the last gig, or the updates, or thoughts on if lowstar were starwars characters, or requests to here more about the ikea trolley (it's fine by the way and still there) or the lowstar imaginary friends - ian's came through with real extension leads this week, but imaginary alan seems to be giving keith the silent treatment. maybe you have some comments about the rainbow of rock, the graph of rock or the loss of alan woodbine's chip shop to make way for a new tesco store? anything really, we're not fussy. enjoy your bank holiday weekend
recording november 2008
gig email - 20 nov 2007
gig email - 24 jul 2007
happy new year - tuesday 16 jan 2007
lowstar lowdown 17 - monday 16 oct 2006
lowstar lowdown 16 - monday 18 sep 2006
lowstar lowdown 15 - monday 11 sep 2006
lowstar lowdown 14 - monday 28 aug 2006
lowstar lowdown 13 - monday 14 aug 2006
lowstar lowdown 12 - monday 31 jul 2006
lowstar lowdown 11 - monday 24 jul 2006
lowstar lowdown 10 - monday 17 jul 2006
lowstar lowdown 9 - monday 10 jul 2006
lowstar lowdown 8 - monday 26 jun 2006
lowstar lowdown 7 - monday 19 jun 2006
lowstar lowdown 6 - monday 05 jun 2006
lowstar lowdown 5 - lowstardate 27th may.6
lowstar lowdown 4 - monday 22 may 2006
lowstar lowdown III - return of the blog (15 may 2006)
lowstar lowdown 2 - wednesday 10 may 2006
lowstar lowdown 1 - friday 28 april 2006