Tag Archives: mp3

New blog!

So in preparation for the EP’s release, and the new band website, we’ve moved the blog to wordpress.  And changed the blog’s name, now that we actually have a band name.  WordPress seems to be a nicer piece of software than blogger, though I’m not too impressed you have to pay to be able to alter the blog’s stylesheet (hopefully not a problem when we have the blog mirrored on the band website).

Anyway, I’m going to leave this post at the top here as an introduction.  Lonesome Monsters is a Glasgow band making an electronic-y guitar-y noise.  We’re releasing an EP later this year on Giant Bear Tracks.  As well as my own ramblings, this blog documents our culinary adventures.

Here’s some work-in-progress tracks we’ve recorded to tide you over till the EP’s out:

Swings

RGB

A special Christmas track:

Cold

And a slightly scruffy video shot up by the canal:

And of course, be sure to check the posts below this – I generally update the blog once a week, though it’s not always band-related.


A Love Letter to Coilhouse

So I’m quite fond of the blog, but I’m deeply in love with the Coilhouse magazine. It’s such a gorgeous, gorgeous thing, full of fascinating people and ideas and incredible imagery. The latest issue (already sold out) is all occult and haunted, with sigils and ghosts and hidden messages on every page. My favourite part is the Grant Morrison interview where he talks about magic, and talking to these scorpion gods who wanted him to become an assassin, to destroy people’s auras. The Famille Zaraguin, who he then wrote into The Invisibles.

Anyway, the point is that reading about all these people making incredible, unexpected things is really inspiring, which leads us on to…

…the lyrics for Swings, which are about that same thing, and were inspired by Coilhouse. These vocals are only a placeholder for now – there’s a second verse still to come, and I’ll do the whole thing again with my good mic rather than the SM58.


Then. A Flicker.

Building up to the release of the EP, we got together twice this week. First to update Swings, then RGB, which you can hear below in the nifty soundcloud widget.

For dinner we made a couple of pizzas.


A pizza patata, based on my recollection of a pizza I’ve had in a great Edinburgh restaurant, and a plain old margherita. The pizza patata is thinly sliced potatoes, mozzarella and rosemary on a pizza base, and we didn’t get it quite right. I think the base should have been thinner and crisper, it was a bit too doughy as it was.

The EP could maybe do with a little explanation – we’re going to release it on my record label, which I’m in the process of starting up. The first release will be an album of my own solo stuff as Giant Bears (beginning of Feb, hopefully), followed by this EP in March.

When my Mum told a friend of hers I was starting a business (albeit a tiny one that’s unlikely to ever turn a profit), the first question was; “What’s his USP?” (not unique selling point, USP -gag-). The label doesn’t have a USP, but it does have a reason to exist. When we think of music, we tend to think of it as this enclosed thing – it’s a sequence of notes, a particular collection of sounds, and that’s all it is. But there’s more going on than simply vibrations in the air.

What we see, touch and smell while we’re listening, all change how we hear those vibrations. Similarly, what we’ve read about that song and artist, the discussions we’ve had about them, change our perception. While you can technically argue* that there is an objective thing that is music, out in the world, that doesn’t change and is forever fixed, we do not perceive that thing as the fixed artifact it supposedly is.

The label is based on the idea that it is the perception of music which is the most important thing, and that therefore the surrounding material/discourse/etc. is every bit as important as the sound itself. So there will never be releases that consist solely of a collection of sound files uploaded to iTunes or wherever. A release will always be a mass of stuff surrounding the sound at its heart. Whether that’s an mp3 tangled within a mess of html and images, or a CDR bound up in a book of rough-textured paper, or even a game (and increasingly I’m thinking that games are the most interesting medium to work with – they can encompass so much).

This of course leads onto Marshall McLuhan’s theories of media. An mp3 is a fundamentally different medium to a CD. And how we perceive the music is different as a result (even ignoring mp3’s technical deficiencies – a lossless file format is every bit as different). The aim of the label is to release music that is aimed at a particular medium, in the same way as a painter would make a conscious decision to work with oil over watercolours. There will never be releases of the same music on different media, as (contrary to received wisdom) the media are not interchangeable.

That’s kind of a 1st draft of the label’s manifesto. There’s plenty of holes and contentious points, but I think it explains why the label exists (or is going to exist in a (gulp) week or so). And manifestos are meant to be contentious…

* – Or not, but for the purpose of the argument…


so… cold…

So as we all once again attempt the delicate balancing act of not freezing to death whilst also trying to avoid a repeat of the enormous gas bill we built up last year (or maybe that’s just me?), here’s some stuff I made. Hopefully it’ll warm you more than it did me. I’d hug you too if I could, if only because the heat from your body might thaw my icicle bones…

The Ice Maiden
Because Craig was talking about sculpture before I headed home for Christmas, and then my brother asked me if I was going to build a snowman. That’s all it took…

Tile Massacre SHMUP
So the assemblee competition is currently taking place over at TIGSource, and I’m taking part. For the first part I made a bunch of sound effects, and for the second part I’m making this shoot em up thing where you first have to create the level you’re going to play through. You can follow my progress here. Here’s hoping I actually get it finished before the deadline…

Cold Edit
A seasonal edit of a track we did (before we started the blog?) which I called Music Box and Craig probably called something else. The ending’s maybe a bit familiar.

Finally, I apologise for the blog’s missing background. It’s hosted on my own site (if anyone knows a better solution I’m all ears), which just got knocked down from too much traffic (I’ll have to wait to see the logs before I can work out why). It’ll be back up come the new year.


The Real Santa Claus Eats Children For Money

So this Christmas we got together to tidy up Swings a bit. Here’s the result:

Swings

We mostly just re-recorded a couple of Craig’s guitar parts, and I softened the attack on the toms and turned the bass up a bit.

Since this was our last meet up before Christmas we made a Nut Roast (which promptly fell apart and became a Nut Mess). Other than its inability to pull itself together, this was easily the best nut roast I’ve ever had. It was really good.

More…
Tumbling Nut Mess with Spiced Parsnip and Apple puree

Nut Mess:

  • 1 carrot – peeled and ribboned using a potato peeler
  • half a white onion chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 125g mixed chopped nuts
  • Some parsley and garlic – chopped
  • Seasoning
  • half a tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 egg, beaten

Puree:

  • 1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
  • 1 granny smith (tart) apple, peeled and chopped
  • ~100ml veg stock
  • half a tsp each of ground cumin, cinnamon and cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp runny honey
  • seasoning
  1. Sweat onion and garlic in oil for a few minutes, add the carrot, cook for a further few minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients, give it a good stir and place in a greased loaf tin and put in a 180C oven for 30-45 minutes.
  2. Gently sweat parsnip in oil for a few minutes, then add the apple, cook for a few minutes more, then add the rest of the ingredients apart from the honey. Cooked for ~15 minutes till everything is soft, puree in a blender then return to the pan, place on a low heat and stir in the honey.
  3. To serve, divide the puree between 2 plates, then pile the nut roast on top. Serve with roast tatties and green veg (brussel’s sprouts!)

Finally I’ll follow up my previous post with a picture of the game I made for Ludum Dare:
I’m really pleased with how it turned out, the visuals especially. You can get it here.

(also, despite this being our last meeting of the year(?), there will be some more posts (from both of us!) shortly)


HERE COMES THE BIKINI WHALE!

(musical accompaniment: surely you can guess…)

We didn’t do much this week, but there’s some changes to The Gaze:

The Gaze (v2)

  • Added staticy synth part to the intro and middle.
  • Re-recorded bass part (still not sure it’s right).
  • Softened kick drum attack.
  • Changed ‘face’ to ‘lips’.

The lyrics are still creepy, but they are going to change (Craig: “they’re creepy, but bad creepy…” Which was kind of the point – they’re meant to make you uncomfortable. The male gaze is not a positive force in the world. More importantly though, they’re also pretty clunky, so; change is coming). Other than that I think this one’s pretty much finished.

For food we made a parsnip sage and walnut risotto. It was nice. We followed it with a remarkable happy accident of a cake, which will be known from now on as Burnt Cake. I had done a batch of fairy cakes, but completely forgot to take them out the oven until at least an hour after I should have done. Bizarrely they actually tasted pretty good. Slightly dry, but otherwise completely un-complain-about-able, and with a nice kind of crust. I think I’m going to do it again, this time with some kind of spice(s), whenceforth they will be known as Spiced Burnt Cakes. It’s going to be great…

Click to see the recipes:

More…
Risotto

  • 2 parsnips
  • some sage
  • some walnuts
  • 2 persons’ worth of arborio rice
  • 1/2 onion
  • 300ml(?) stock
  1. Sauté(?) the parsnips and onion in a frying pan.
  2. Add the sage, walnuts and rice, together with enough stock to cover the rice. Cook for about 20 mins, adding more stock as needed.
  3. Eat it.

Burnt Cakes

  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 150g margarine
  • 3 eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla
  1. Put everything in a bowl, mix until blended.
  2. Divide into 12 fairy cake cases.
  3. Bake for at least 1 hour (probably more) at 160C. They should be brown (not black) when you take them out the oven.


Owen Hatherley recently did another tour of Glasgow, written up here. I love this kind of thing. Also, it got me to take a wander across to the People’s Palace, which was most worth it (as you can kind of see from my pictures).

Honestly, do you really have to put cameras everywhere?

This weekend’s Ludum Dare by the way, and I’ll be taking part. You can follow my progress (or lack of it) here. I already inspired a motivational poster, which is more than I managed in the past two competitions.

Not from my people’s palace trip, but this house is actually getting built! I would love to live in something like that. I don’t care about all the stairs…

This building is insane. It was a carpet factory! (hmm, I do believe I have exceeded my exclamation quota for the week) It’s as if it belongs to an alternate universe where factories were designed as, um, palaces (a quick google suggests most people think this is actually the People’s Palace, not the building across from it. You can see why…).


Chole, Cake, and the Male Gaze

This week we started tidying up the first track for the EP, and it’s the first proper song we did together. We re-did one of Craig’s guitar parts, lengthened the 2nd verse, and I did some vocals. Get it here:

The Gaze

The lyrics were pretty much the first thing that came out of my mouth and will definitely get revised. It’s about the male gaze though, which is why they’re kind of creepy.

Food-wise, we had some Chole using this recipe, with some couscous (accidentally made with gravy instead of stock, which is why it looks so solid). It was pretty nice, all told. The chole had a nice heat to it, so I must have used just the right amount of cayenne.

After we had some cake – a Chocolate Clementine Cake of my own invention. I’ll stick the recipe below the More… link.

More…
Chocolate Clementine Cake

  • 225g margarine
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • Finely grated rind of 1 clementine
  • 75g orange chocolate (I used Green & Blacks’ Mayan Gold), chopped into small chunks
  • 25g? cocoa
  • 50g? margarine
  • 100g? icing sugar
  • Finely grated rind of 1/2 a clementine
  • 175g icing sugar
  • Juice of 3? clementines
  • Some more orange chocolate for grating
  1. Put the margarine, caster sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder, grated rind of 1 clementine and chocolate chunks into a bowl, mix until well blended.
  2. Put half the mix into a greased 9″ cake tin.
  3. Mix the cocoa into the remaining mixture, put in another greased 9″ tin.
  4. Put both tins in the oven at 180C, bake for 25mins or until well risen and a skewer comes out clean.
  5. After both cakes have cooled, make the butter icing for the middle. Cream the 50g(? – I think – judge the amounts yourself) of margarine, then add the 100g(?) of icing sugar and grated clementine rind, mix together.
  6. Spread the butter icing on top of the vanilla cake, taking care to leave space at the edges for the icing to spread, then put the chocolate cake on top.
  7. Make the water icing by mixing the 175g icing sugar with however much clementine juice you need to get the right consistency (fairly thick, not too runny). Spread across the top of the chocolate cake.
  8. Finish by grating some of the remaining chocolate over the top of the cake.

Finally, I made a new game, here’s a screenshot:
It’s called The Future Will Only Be Dystopian If Capitalism Remains Undefeated, and you can get it here. It’s pretty clunky and confusing, but I’m at least happy with the visuals.

[edit] Anwyn Crawford’s blogging again!