It’s a SUNDAY POST.

Everyone else is too busy tweeting about The X Factor. I’m sat here listening to the Black Keys and wondering how to waste the next two and a half hours.

What I should be doing is sorting out the remaining things that need getting for Christmas or perhaps finishing all the half-finished efforts lurking in this room. I don’t want to though. I feel compelled to start something else instead. That’s just going to minimise what little space I have though, so that’s off the cards. I think I’m expecting something exciting to happen, not taking into account that it’s a Sunday and everyone is plumface knackered because it’s another Monday tomorrow. So… a pig on a hovering skateboard is not going to crash through the wall then. So… Mr Vinyl won’t enlist me to capture his MP3 enemies lurking on the Eastern sea board. Nope. It’s just me and piles and piles of stuff.

Time for a clear out.

At least in the morning there’s three parcels waiting across the road in the sandwich shop. A little excitement before the cold walk to work.

December 4th, 2011 Ian

Grow My Face

It is customary in December for me to grow a beard. Because I can. It also protects my face from the cold thus making a rather helpful addition to my viso/volto. So having hacked off what little was left I am naked in the facial region, patiently waiting for the inevitable to happen.

I was hoping to take part in Decembeard, some sort of fund-raising activity in the same vein as Movember, however it would appear as though it hasn’t really taken off in the UK and surprisingly people don’t want to give you money just because you haven’t shaved for a while. Which is a shame as growing face candy is one of the few things I’m good at.

So if anyone anywhere wants to give me money for growing a beard please do so. There are many charities out there that need your support. They can have whatever gets shuffled in my direction.

December 1st, 2011 Ian

You Say You Want A List?

So we’re slipping into December without realising that is unless you’re one of the many people who have been waiting for this very moment with which to rip out the Christmas tree and shove it in the corner of the living room. I’ve heard of people who already did it in November; how very worrying.

What you want is a list of things you don’t really care about. So here it is. Actually it’s a list of things that you don’t really care about but I do because at the moment this bird is all mine and what I say goes and right now I’m going to waste my life for the next five minutes or so telling you the best five songs I’ve heard this year (so far, I mean we still have another 30 days of searching but what are the chances of finding something incredible?):

1. My Pet Snakes / Big Wave by Jenny and Johnny – it’s hard to choose between the two, one a very weird song about two messed up people who still stay together even though that hate each other (I think) the other an ode to California but talking about how… messed up people are. Ah I see a pattern.

2. Howlin’ For You / Tighten Up by The Black Keys – again, hard to choose, they’re both jiggy and make you want to pull some shapes in the most elegant fashion. I’m sorry I ignored them for so long. Yes, Siobhan Merry, you were right again as always in the end.

3. Wolves at Night by Manchester Orchestra – they supported Biffy Clyro in 2009 and I enjoyed them then but it’s only now they’ve gotten through. Come back to Newcastle!

4. Anything from the Scott Pilgrim Soundtrack – guh huh, yeah, it’s scuzzy and most of the songs by Sex Bob-omb are only two minutes long but even if they weren’t from a superb film such as SP I’d still love them. “We are Sex Bom-omb and we’re here to make think about death and get sad and stuff!

5. Holland, 1945 by Neutral Milk Hotel – amazing tune coupled with barmy lyrics, I want to listen to this over and over again until it makes sense and it never will.

Strictly speaking all of these weren’t from 2011. You know it makes sense.

December 1st, 2011 Ian

Papples Album Diary – Day 2 (Part 2)

With nine songs already lined up we needed a rest. We had to reach the magic ten, that was already agreed, but as we set out for some food our minds went blank. There was nothing doing. Ideas were coming up yet being knocked back because whilst they were good they just weren’t good enough to complete with the quality from a few hours ago.

There was a piece of retro funk lounge music we still hadn’t managed to find a place for. It was decided that we should follow in the footsteps of Two Turntables and a Lady Bus and produce something with a chunky groove. The most startling aspect of it was probably that Chris’ voice is way louder than mine, so it had to be raised several levels just to compete at an acceptable level. It must be all those years living down South which increased his octaves.

Point blank. Ten was reached, and we wanted more. Hiding somewhere within the internetage was a magical song. We found it and realised the potential almost immediately. Had I not done the finger wiggle dance to expose the raw pop materials to Chris he may not have had a brainwave and write furiously on the subject matter. Lyrics done in about fifteen minutes, with a sweet contribution from me and 1930’s style conversations betwixt the dulcet tones it was ready. Romeo Done.

But what about the title? We drew up a list as we always do and even considered the working titles for Masterpiece. My personal favourites were Going All The Way With… The Papples and The Ever-Expanding World of… The Papples and the stupid ideas we had for cover sleeves. What we settled on though was brought up many hours later, after a pint of sleazy dragon at the local pub establishment, dropped into the conversation like a drop of liquid brilliance.

You will see what we mean. You will hear us and we will be heard.

November 30th, 2011 Ian

Papples Album Diary – Day 2 (Part 1)

The morning was broken savagely by Chris waking up and walking into the room. I had hoped for a little more snooze time however when you know you have something to do I suppose it’s hard not to do it. Breakfast was a feast for the eyes and the nose, and then it hit the mouth and all I wanted to do was start over again. I think I may have had too much toast and beans because the rest of the day was fraught with unpleasant sounds.

To the music! Lion Song was already “papped”, it just needed to be recorded. Chris nailed it practically in one take. After a lot of reverb we could continue. We followed up with Dubsteppin’ Across The Border and The Only Problem is You. Using our excellent skills we managed to shoehorn Dumb Kitty, an energetic ukulele song that I’d only written a shaky three chord chorus for, into a hard-hitting piece of music. The same for Hairy on the Go, the legendary missing track from Masterpiece only previously available on bootlegs

Dinosaur Gal, a Phoning It In original, was done in a single take albeit one which required a fake introduction only for me to fluff the very first chord and create the ambiance required to hit the chuffer between the legs. Vocals pitch-perfect, again in one take and some smooth BVs from Chris meant another was in the can.

We were getting close. January was perhaps the easiest to record. All it required was to put the order of the things in the right order. Which took longer than expected. This will make sense when you hear it.

How stupid can we get? Well how about a song using the names of animals to try to put across how much you love someone? That’s where Owl Do Anything comes in. A rough draft was knocked up in ten minutes several weeks before and Chris, with his keen eye for a hearty pop nugget, skimmed and chopped and added until nothing more was required. And then it had to happen, the traditional Papples cover. Crooned all over. If there is a better version of anything by Starship then it remains to be heard.

November 28th, 2011 Ian

Professor Drophead can help!

Is this you?

 

 
                                                                                                                                                               Do you do this a lot? Do you wish that you didn’t do this a lot?

You are a Drophead and you cannot help it. This is a common problem amongst a lot of the population in that you forget to look up. Looking up isn’t hard but the cognitive reflexes required to do so become tired and worn out over a period of years and if not treated will cause problems.

 We can help.

 Professor Drophead has been dealing with cases of Dropheads for the last ten years. In every single case he has managed to turn that person’s life around. With a proven track record you can assure yourself that you are in safe hands. Courses are now taking place in your area. If you want to take control then call us now.

 “Looking up is just the beginning” – Professor John Drophead

November 25th, 2011 Ian

Logical Dreamscape (13)

I slowly become aware that I’m in Cross Gates of all places. It’s a little different to how I remember in the layout; that said though this looks a little more eighties than it normally is, and we all know how Cross Gates reveals in its dated look and appeal. You heard.

The first part of the dream is lost to my subconscious. We catch up as I walk into Kwik Save and take a rest on a handily-placed sofa located next to the front doors. A member of staff comes over and tells me to leave because of the mess I had made. Next to me on the sofa are tons and tons of snot-ridden tissues and with nobody else to blame it all falls on me. A security guard escorts me out, carrying all the tissues. I need somewhere to get rid of all of this tosh. Wherever I look though the bins are full or not there at all. In the car park at the Arndale Centre there is what looks like a gents.

So I pile in with all the tissue and flush them, in small batches down the toilet. When I’ve washed my hands I realise I’ve got my ukulele stuck in my back pocket but every time I go to take it out a different part has gotten stuck on my jeans. Then to my amazement there is a queue to get out of the toilets! When I finally get outside again an A-Team lookalike are causing such a commotion and then I woke up.

November 24th, 2011 Ian

Papples Album Diary – Day 1

As it only two 48hrs to write, record and produce the entire album I think it would be silly to drag this into several different entries so I will stick with two singular but quite lengthy and egotistical posts.

I was worried that since our previous album ‘Masterpiece’ we had perhaps lost our touch and that it was going to be a struggle. That was all ripped aside though as I waited anxiously for Chris to pick me up from London Kings Cross; he was running late because he was finishing writing a song. When we got back he sung it and all the worries disappeared. It was clear from this two minute set of pop lovliness about a man being followed by a chorus of lions that we were back in the game and nothing was going to get in the way.

I had come pre-prepared with another “classic” ukulele track with more than two chords this time. It had at least six. Enough to make my hand move enough around the neck of the instrument so I looked like a proper musician (if anyone was watching that is). There were also some lyrics scribbled here and there with which to shoehorn into some music. As it happens the most heartfelt song of the previous album ‘Beefy Tears’ was originally a raw demo torn up and shoved into something else.

The rest of the album would be a mystery. There were songs out there and with some music already picked by Chris it was certain that we were the right people to find them. We ate some pots tatoas. We went for a drink to engage in idle small talk but really our minds were elsewhere. I smoked the rest of my Metro Tabs. Chris actually drank a pint! We retired at a respectable hour.

Just off in the horizon something was brewing.

November 23rd, 2011 Ian

Premature Tears

So, where has the time flown?

Two weeks and I was still on a steady roll only to be put out by a trip to Loondon and my birthday, so the Beans has been as quiet as a jaded pop star. We will have to put that right though. Hands up who wants a Papples media diary for the recording of their latest album? Hands up who wants a bit of abuse to throw at Natasha Bedingfield? Who also wants to learn about love and Mrs Shadwell?

Finger wiggle time… !

November 22nd, 2011 Ian

God Damn Poetry – Joint Effort

Dark were the eyes of the man who baked,
As he realised that Mr Kipling’s cakes were faked.
A pain of knowledge that rodents were used
Left him angry knowing that they had been abused.
They swam around in scented batter,
All the while growing fatter and fatter,
A mouse, a rat, to them it didn’t matter
As they were drinking tea with Alice and the Mad Hatter.

So the man broke in to get some justice,
Swinging from a rope he had tied to the buttress,
Spoon in hand, passions aflame,
To rescue the captives before they all went lame.
He tore through the building, opened every cage,
Thinking of the story that would be on the front page.
When the sun came up just behind Fenner’s Hill
He sat back to watch them scurry off to the nearest landfill,
Though the legal action against him would be severe
And could possibly mean the end of his glorious conveyancing career.

(Words by S. Black and I. McIver)

November 10th, 2011 Ian

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