End of Tracking: Dreams, Snow panic and Stuff

It’s the last two days of the band side of things. After a mega day trying to redo West Coast fishing incident which was too slow originally, we head up to see Joan and Russel and stay for a lentil pie and a chat about art and stuff. It is an incredible house stuffed with fabulous sculpture, photos and paintings. Designed like the captains quarters of a Spanish galleon but with light coming in all the right places. The Pie is to die for and the conversation warm and fascinating, Russel talks a lot about negative space in his work. I cant recall terribly much because after two weeks of stressing out and tee totalling I crack and have a few beers and some cheeky cigs  on the starry walk back through the trees to the studio. Feeling fabulous i attempt to get the band to do an impromptu recording of ‘Gap Year Blues’ With Indra and Dale on trumpet and sax.

Sa

D Packard Sax for Hire 555 6969

But i cant really sing after all the celebrating and having a mild flu too, so bed beckons. We are all sleeping in this kind of loft filled with mattresses and bookshelves. If the band had insisted on their own rooms i would have been screwed but thankfully there’s no prima donnas in this group. Burke has his own room but that’s so he can be close to all his groovy recording gear.

The next day i awake feeling ratty but it was a good night so sometimes you just have to wear that. The last song to do before we left Yandoit was ‘Dan Kelly’s Dream’. It is probably the title of the record and one i hold high hopes for, just because of its general spazness and 5/4 beat. Which is a change from my 4/4isms of the last 6 years. I wrote the words for this song in the back of a tour van in 2008 as Paul Kelly, his tour manager Greg Weaver and myself drove over the endless Canadian plains towards Winnipeg.

beautiful Winterpeg

We had started in Austin at SXSW and worked our way up through LA, San Fransisco, Seattle, Portland, Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary performing as a duo with Greg on sound and a lovely gent from LA named Patrick Park in support.

Team Kelly in Warmer Times

In Vancouver i had met a very lovely,energetic and slightly intoxicated girl who used to go out with Kurt Cobain back in the day. Somehow in the course of the evening she ended up giving me this amazing crucifix that had belonged to Kurt and that she had worn every day since his death. I didn’t want to take it but she insisted she needed a break from it for a while and it would help me make an amazing record. She wouldn’t take no for an answer. So the next thing i’m scooting across the plains of Canada with Kurts cross on my chest, feeling weird about it but open to anything really.

Kurt liked a lot of cool Australian bands like Cosmic Psychos, Bloodloss etc Would have hated my stuff though :(

Eventually on about the 12th hour of the drive to Winnipeg i got stuck into the left over rider wine and busted out these kind of Eric Burdon ‘Spill the Wine’ stylee lyrics about blowing up coal trains in Vietnam. I had  been on an eco-terrorist trip for a while and was pretty keen to write a few songs just to stir shit up really. Im not a violent chap, but if i can rile up some conservatives and climate deniers then well and good. I swear If i hear another stupid 60 year old English geologist wanking on about solar flares I will blow up his brain with my Electro Harmonix Pog pedal

oops my guitar solo accidentally saved the world!

So anyways i wrote these lyrics and welded them to a little piece that i had written back in The Baker St rock commune days with A ron Cupples and in a hundred ks or so i had a song. Probably my first finished song in about two years at that point so i thanked the universe quietly.

thanks universe!

That night we ate Chinese food in the smallest town in the world, about 300km from Winnipeg and i crashed out  in the hotel room. I awoke at about 3am having these intense heart palpitations and started to freak out. No one was awake and it was negative 15 c outside. Stupidly i looked up the net and of course concluded i was having a heart attack. I went to reception to see if they had any aspirin as it thins your blood, but the guy there didn’t and thought i was strange. My hair was particularly high with the worry.

Drugs for guys in thirties

He directed me to a truck stop pharmacy type place about 2 km up the road. I was in a real panic so i hoofed it out the door in just my jeans, suede boots and hoodie. I was about a k down the road, no houses just endless snow fields and massive semis blasting past, when i realised that i might actually freeze to death before i got there.

bad tour moment

My uncle and Greg the tour manager were asleep oblivious and the guy at reception was doing his best to forget me. It was like Fargo only more pathetic.

I eventually made it there with blue hands and swallowed some aspirin and calmed down a bit and warmed my hands by the coffee machine before attempting the trip back. I was too scared to go back to my room by myself so i sat and watched tv in the lobby for five hours until the team woke up. I got in the tour van feeling very strange and ended up spending 600 bucks on tests at winnipeg medical center that afternoon. It turns out that i was having an allergic reaction to some medication my doctor had put me on to lower my cholesterol a bit (genetics have been kind and cruel to me in equal doses),

avoid this stuff.

but for a while i thought the Kurt cross was jinxing me and i took it off. Now the record has taken three years and i wonder whether i should have worn it more?

I’m not usually superstitious though i avoid eating flake, in the hope that if a shark has to choose between me and another swimmer, he chooses the flake eating guy.

avoid this if you like body surfing at dusk in murky water

DAN KELLY’S DREAM

I FELL ASLEEP ON A TRAM, HARRY POTTER IN HAND

I WOKE UP DROOLING IN THE SOUTH OF VIETNAM

WITH A CONTROVERSIAL HAIRCUT AND OVERSIZED HANDS

IN THE BACK OF A CAFE CALLED ‘MYSTERY TRAN’

I STARTED CYCLING BACKWARD DOWN THE TRIBUTARY

BY THE COCA COLA WATERS,UNDER INSTANT NOODLE TREES

TASTE POLICE GOT ME, THREW ME IN A CELL

LONG NIGHTS PLAYING CARDS WITH THE GUARDS AND SCHAPELLE*

TILL I MADE MY ESCAPE WITH A TRANNIE NAMED MARY

WE HITCHHIKED DOWN THE ROAD

OUR LEGS WERE ALL HAIRY!

SINGING ‘DOO DOO DOO, DOO, DOO, DOO ETC”

ME AND MARY TOOK A TRIP ON A BIPLANE, UP TO THE HIGH PLAINS

LIVIN ON CRUSKITS FISHED FROM THE MAIN DRAIN

KILLING TIME BY DERAILING COAL TRAINS

MADE THE CITY FOLKS ANGRY, THE COULDN’T HEAT THE WATER MAINS!

(HAD TO HAVE COLD SHOWERS, SHIVERIN’ FOR HOURS)

TIL THE AIR FORCES, GROUND FORCES, GREEN BERETS, MERCENARIES

COME DOWN UPON ME LIKE A SWARM OF ANGRY WORKER BEES

I JUMPED IN A FOXHOLE, COME UP IN NEW GUINEA

STOLE AN INDONESIAN GENERALS WATERPROOF HUMVEEE

THEN I CRUISED PAST JAPAN WITH THE TYPHOONS STINGING

UP TO ALASKA, THERE WERE ESKIMO GIRLS SINGING!

DOO DOO DOO, DOO DOO DOO ETC

STUMBLIN ROUND THE NORTH POLE, CHECKING ON MY MAP

IT WAS A POLAR BEARS TRAIL ON A PIECE OF FOOLSCAP

BUT THOSE DAMN CORPORATIONS SET ME A TRAP

A WHOLE POLAR ICE CAP MELTED ON MY LAP!

THEN I SURFED DOWN THE GULFSTREAM TO THE COAST OF CHILE

I WAS THE LAST THING SWIMMIN, THEY MADE A DOCUMENTAY!

I WENT TO THE PREMIERE AT THE LAST WORLD FAIR

SO MANY TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENTS THERE

RUB TWO IPODS TOGETHER MAKE A FIRE!

PUT CHICKEN WIRE IN FRONT OF YOUR CLOTHES DRYER!

RAISE DRY CHICKENS,

PUT EM OUT IN THE YARD TO COOK A WHILE!

SINGING DOO DOO DOO, DOO DOO DOO ETC

I BUSTED OUT SCREAMING, ADVERTISERS SCREAMING,

GROWN UPS AND CHILDREN LIKE REFUGEES TEEMING

NEON SIGNS SPRUIKING PORN STARS REAMING

THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN I HEARD THE TRAM BRAKES SCREAMING,

THANK THE LORD, IT WAS JUST ANOTHER SONG WHERE THE GUY WAS ONLY DREAMING!

END OF SONG

*i know Schapelle is in Indonesia but hey, anyone ever heard ‘Bangkok’ by Alex Chilton?


RETRO BLOG: BINDI IRWIN SPECIAL

Bindi Irwin Apocalypse Jam

We are into the last two days of band recording and it’s time to try a new composition i’ve been working on entitled ‘ Bindi Irwin Undersea Apocalypse Jam’.
I’ve always been a fan of underwater theme songs and underwater tv shows. ‘The Man from Atlantis’ blew my mind as i’d sit in our hot tv room in Port Lincoln as a young lad.

That show was a long way from the desert of 1970’s  South Australia, even tho it was a fishing town i was in. That Port Lincoln house provided the earliest dreams i can remember, particularly this one where cows would climb in through my window, stand up on their hind legs. wrap their forelegs around me and squeeze  milk out of me. I would wake up screaming.
What does that mean? Is it Freudian? Any dream analysts feel free to write in.
But i digress…..
my favourite underwater song of all time is Jimi Hendrix’s “1983…a Merman i shall turn to be”. In this epic tune Jimi runs ‘away from a world that’s battered and torn’ to the sea where he lives out his days in safety. The imagery is just the right side of hippie coz 60’s or not, Jimi was a righteous motherfucker and funny too.
Octopus’s Garden by the Beatles is another significant underwater tune for me too. it’s hard to overstate how great Beatles records  are when your a kid . Even stuff like ‘Obli DI Obli Da’ is magical until you hit 12 or 13. Thats why music critics drive me up the wall in their endless Lennon vs Macartney wank.  It really doesn’t matter.

Ringo on being informed he is in a Dan Kelly song

UK Music Critic trying to 'get the vibe'

As our uncle Morrissey says …
‘A sad fact widely known
the most impassionate song
to a lonely soul
Is so easily outgrown
But don’t forget the songs that made you smile
and the songs that made you cry
When you lay in awe
On the bedroom floor
and said “oh, oh, smother me Mother…’

not that he was talking about Obli di Oh blah dah of course, i’m just trying to say that we weren’t all always indie hipsters.

but i digress….
I had this jam that i worked up with A ron Cupples a couple of years ago in Dalston that i was keen to turn into something. It had a kind of spacious Ibiza feel from the get go.

One day lapping away in the Fitzroy pool i somehow accidentally and horrifically composed a scenario where i would escape the coming apocalypse by following Jimi’s footsteps and heading underwater. Knowing my awful sense of direction i figured i would need a tour guide, and before i could stop the thought, Bindi Irwin was in the song.

the one and only

I spent the next three months trying to write her out, but sometimes you just can’t run away from a particular lyric that has attached itself to the music, no matter how hard you try.
Fearing a Tabloid backlash i then set about trying to make the song not creepy in any way, a hard task considering she is underage and most of my songs have a somewhat risque edge to them. Eventually i realized that if i got her mother Terri to chaperone her through the verses, that would take some of the edge off of it. I also wrote in a middle 8
“It’s not appropriate to share our beds
even though human kind’s hanging by a thread
I will hang with the mermaids instead..”
Now  i needed some more companions to live out my days underwater, so feeling guilty about ripping off  their two great songs somewhat , i invited Jimi and Ringo star into the picture. And naturally we had to jam. And then the Bindi Irwin Apocalypse Jam was born.

Jimi, Bindi and Ringo were late for the shoot :(

We spend the rest of eternity, shielded from the UV rays by the cover of the Great Eastern Trash, a continent sized pile of plastic that is covering most of the north pacific.

its hard to joke about this stuff. but otherwise i would have killed myself long ago

its hard to joke about this stuff. but otherwise i would have killed myself long ago

A word on Bindi Irwin. Now of course the whole mega oz/americana child star franchise horror is unsettling. But as modern stars go, a young girl in Khaki who saves all the animals from extinction is a pretty  cool by me.
I told the band and they were slightly freaked, then i played them the instrumental demo and it just sounds like an underwater jam with Bindi. So off we went.
Even Burke went for it, and you would not find a guy who would run further from cute novelty music if you tried.
So it came to be that the iron sculptures watching over our little cottage in Yandoit came to resonate with undersea Irwin frequencies through the night……

THE FORCES OF COOL MAY SHOUT ME DOWN
BUT HERE IS SOME GOLD FROM YE OLDE BRAIN TOWN
I WAS  BUSTING SOME LAPS ACROSS THE POND
BENDING MY THOUGHTS TO A WORLD GONE WRONG
THINKING  i WILL RETIRE TO BE UNDER THE SEA
JUST RINGO AND TERRI
BINDI AND ME
AND JIMI’S THERE TOO
LAYING IT DOWN
BIG BUBBLES OF SOUND
SO WE ALL DON’T DROWN!

SINGING OO WEE OO WEE
BINDI AND ME BINDI AND ME
OO WEE OO WEE
APOCALYPSE JAM UNDER THE SEA

I’M NOT LOOKING FOR LOVE, JUST COMPANY
AND SHE CAN EXPLAIN THE WORLD TO ME
FROM THE LITTORAL ZONES TO THE DOCK OF THE BAY
WE CAN AVOID THE WOES OF THE DAY
I DO DESIRE TO BE UNDER THE SEA
RINGO AND TERRY, BINDI AND ME
I’M GONNA LET IT RING OUT
ON MY  CORAL KAZOO
IT’S AN UNDERSEA JAM
WHAT ELSE CAN I DO?

OO WEE OO WEE
BINDI AND ME BINDI AND ME
OO WEE OO WEE
APOCALYPSE JAM UNDER THE SEA

IT’S NOT APPROPRIATE TO SHARE OUR BEDS
ALTHOUGH HUMANKIND’S HANGIN BY A THREAD
I WILL HANG WITH THE MERMAIDS INSTEAD
AND TOGETHER WE WILL RIDE OUT THE CRASH
UNDER THE COVER OF THE EASTERN TRASH
DANCING ALL NIGHT BY THE COAST OF MAURITIOUS
UNDER THE LIGHTS OF THE DEEP SEA FISHES

UNDERWATER GUITAR SOLO

DIARY ENTRY 603
ANOTHER DULL DAY IN OUR CORAL SANCTUARY
RINGO’S MESSED UP ON JELLYFISH TEA
AND BINDI’S BAD Fashion  IS GETTING TO ME
ONCE i desireD to be under the sea
AND I WILL LET THAT BE A LESSON TO ME
I WILL SWIM TO THE SURFACE
CLIMB A DEAD TREE
AND LET  THE TORNADOS
TAKE CARE OF ME!

OO WEE OO WEE
BINDI AND ME BINDI AND ME
OO WEE OO WEE
APOCALYPSE JAM UNDER THE SEA
ETCETERA

Monkey Horse

The Band has returned, all rested up and bringing  stories of their gigs, apps and children to entertain myself and Burke with. We are hungry for city news. Burke’s beard is thickening and my Dan Kelly ™ hairstyle is starting to dread.  We greet the band twith the good news that some of the tracks sound great, then the bad news the a couple are gonna have to be re -done. They are stoic about it. I seem to be the only one mildly panicking, and i think that has more to do with my general demeanour at the moment, which resembles that of a spooked horse (with the head of a monkey).

What i look like mid week two

What i look like mid week two

A mild flu and fear of swallowing a bandaid has meant i have given up my morning struggle through the murk of ye olde castlemaine pool. Unfortunately that leaves more energy to turn inward onto my brain.  This kind of redirected sport energy may go a ways to explaining why a 60s country jam like Catholic Leader will end up with a metal versus ukelele solo in it, accompanied by latin percussion and cheering children. If i exercised more i suspect my songs would be simpler as my brain would be relaxed and content.

Writing songs after a swim!

instead up cluttered up with non exercised free radical nano thoughts….

writing songs after not exercising. Planning more harmonized solos,,,,,

A word on the cheering children. When i was starting to write and demo songs again, after a good two years of nothing, i discovered a sound effect on Garageband which consisted of a big group of kids saying YAY!.  These kids gave me confidence and i preceded to put them on every demo .Whenever i do a guitar solo or bust  a funny lyric the kids are there to cheer me on. So i have decided to put them either overtly or hidden onto every track of the new record. As a way of thanking them for their tireless enthusiasm. May i’ll get them a deal and they can do their own record thru K TEL. Burke does not know about this plan yet .

Here they are so you can dig them too. YAY!

And so we track on into the next couple of days. I dress up like Roy Orbison for the remake of CATHOLIC LEADERand we nail it the second time round. We struggle with BULLSEYE JONES, THE MAN IN MENTONE as i am asking Dave to play a really particular and silly drum pattern. I can be pretty anal with tracking, and strangely enough it really comes to the fore on songs where i’m trying to sound all happy go lucky . Irritating for drummers I am. But Dave soldiers on and eventually that is tracked and ready to sing falsetto all over. My love of falsetto started with a Skip James song ‘ Hard Time Killing Floor Blues’ that my uncle Paul sang for me one queensland christmas when i was 14. He was taught the song by Spencer Jones.   It is a haunting magical song and it blew my mind after a day of swimming and backyard cricket and gorging myself and freaking on my Joshua Tree tape that my american relatives had sent over. I have continued to wail away a the top of my range ever since.

Here is Skip doing another fabulous tune ‘Devil Got My Woman’. This was when he was rediscovered after 30 years and played Newport. People try to cover this song and always screw it up.

this is better than John Mayer

Talking falsetto I also like Curtis Mayfield, Desmond Dekker and ‘Emotional Rescue’ by the Rolling Stones .

Ultimate Dan Kelly song

anyways thats my retro blog for today.

Tomorrow..Bindi Irwin!

Week two in the the epic ‘Wire’ like series continues….

The band have all gone back to Melbourne for a day to look after their respective businesses, children and girlfriends and regain sanity and sanitation. Indra has developed an awesome iphone app called gig guide me  which he needs to go back and work on. It’s the whole scene at yr fingertips! http://www.gigguideme.com/
Burke and I spend the day planning listening back to what we’ve achieved. Some stuff sounds great, some not right. It turns out West Coast was the wrong tempo after all and we’ll have to have another crack This wasn’t really a shock to me as the first song recorded always seems to get revisited. But more of a drag is that my road song ‘Catholic Leader’

early reading for me when trying not to think about sex

early reading for me when trying not to think about sex

has come up too country sounding. Somehow between the swing of my guitar, the drum pattern and the baseline it has lots its futuro Dylan adventure vibe

Dylan planning my career before i was even born. What a genius!

Dylan planning my career before i was even born. What a genius!

and now sounds more Nashville.

not the sound i was going for.... :(

not the sound i was going for.... :(

Ick i hate that Nashville thing.

So were gonna have to do that again. We are mega behind schedule but hopefully that will drive us on! After all the analysis we finally get down to overdubbing some big walls of guitar on ‘Stressing Out’. Somehow though, by trying to avoid sounding too much like Gaslight Radio, i end up sounding like Van Halen and Burke has to gently usher me in a new direction.

not van halen!

not van halen!

Definitely not indie musicians

Definitely not indie musicians

I’m glad though it would have sounded rad in the trans am.

p.s i really am starting to hate that picture of me pulling my finger on the right. But someone seems to have locked that part of the website.  Aargh.

15

CONFESSIONS OF A RETRO BLOGGER

EPISODE 6
Hi folks. At a point in making the record ‘Dan Kelly’s Dream’ i got too involved and stopped any semblance of real time blogging and just took pictures and notes for later on to jog my memory.. So from now on this is a serialised retro blog covering what happened with the album, the initial aborted mixing debacle and other stuff all leading up to my upcoming journey to London to finish it off with Legendary home producer A.Ron Cupples.

A RON AS A YOUNG PRODUCER OF GIPPSLAND SURF BANDS

A RON AS A YOUNG PRODUCER OF GIPPSLAND SURF BANDS

He lives in a freezing flat above an OXFAM bookstore in Dalston,East London (So we will have to dress appropriately)

First days mixing in my mind. Aron on left, me on right :(

First days mixing in my mind. Aron on left, me on right :(

It is a harrowing and uplifting journey, though i think the uplifting bit comes next. I’m harrowed up to the eyeballs right now. One more picture to represent my mental journey so far…….

me doing backing vocals- day 63

me doing backing vocals- day 63

So now we go back to Daylesford and catch up where i left off, trapped in the vortex mirror room, thinking about tempos and stuff………

In search of my Chanteuse and the mystery source of my retardations

Indra and I have been making the petrol trips so we can go to the ‘Beer and Breakfast’ cafe in Daylesford.

just add sleet to this picture to feel my reality

just add sleet to this picture to feel my reality

Last blog i said we were listening to the Manneheim Dance Band in the car.
I want to take this opportunity to apologise, they are the Manahan Street Band. Indra almost quit when he read that. He thinks i am an old dag now.
Where was he when i was lining up in the Queen Street mall Overnight for the U2 Love Comes to town spectacular, HUH?
Anyway back to the Beer and Breakfast. It is my manager Bernadette’s recommendation and the Tahini and Tomato toast with Lemon oil is actually sensational. I have two coz its only seven dollars and i remember how hungry i was as a chubby twelve year old. We skip on the beer, this isn’t Motley Crue. Motley Crue would have stuck their cocks in the Tahini toast so their girlfriends didn’t suspect they’d been into the waitresses.

My band doesnt look like this at all

My band doesn't look like this at all

Sated, we hoof it back to ow solar/generator powered sculpture studio.
The telecommunication scene at the studio has been a bit loose as i don’t get texts unless i stand on the hill, so my manager is hating on me badly for ignoring urgent messages. I feel its more urgent to stare into the vortex rock mirror and stress out about my lyrics rather than blog or pay people. But deep down i know she’s right and that makes me even more useless with the guilt.  When did i get so retarded?
I scored highly in my final year at school and cruised through university, but then suspect i got too into hash oil and solo curry orgies in the mid to late nineties and blew my normality gasket.

also seduced by a decade of cool american guitar bands

also seduced by a decade of cool american guitar bands

Now the vortex mirror is punishing me for wasting my twenties i just know it. The constant Tim and Eric being played between takes is not helping. They are like the visual equivalent of the Butthole Surfers but in a retro futuristic fat Michael J Fox apocalypse HAZE and it is feeding back into the vortex mirror at an alarming rate . FAMILY FUN AFTER DAYS OF ROCK ACTION
At this point Burke suggests i leave the hallway of many thoughts  and go sit in the band room to record ‘inspiration Point’. Wisely produced, Black Rainbow!  Inspiration Point is one of the only songs about sex on the record and it relaxes me that i’m lyrically struggling with a bra strap rather than the end of the world.
Inspiration Point is from ‘Happy Days’ which was big for me in 1983. I am writing a section for a chanteuse in the middle, kind of based on Robert Forster’s fabulous ‘ I recall the same, a reply…’ section of the Go Betweens ‘ Cattle and the Cane’. I adore Robert Forster and have been reading his book ‘ the Ten Rules of Rock n Roll’ between takes. Every point he makes about how to achieve good simple powerful songs seems to stab at me and deflate my balloon of words and multilayered ironic psychedelic harmonies.  This is why musicians take lots of Coke on the big third record, so they can avoid this kind of analysis mid take and say ‘fuck yeah! more ironic psychedelic harmonies! man it’s sweet times in these headphones!……
but then those Coke records can be pretty bad.
I will proceed with my Tahini record thank you very much.
As for a chanteuse, who can i get?
Francois Hardy is probably too old now

SIGH

SIGH

Nico is long gone but would have intimidated me too much anyway

Intimidating Cheek Bones

Intimidating Cheek Bones

Nina Hagen would be too weird and make guttural teutonic bird noises

what i would look like if i grew up in Germany

what i would look like if i grew up in Germany

The Ukeladies are already on some other songs and its good to keep changing.
I keep texting Hope Sandoval but she must have changed her number.

double sigh....

double sigh....

Chloe Sevigny once gave me a really searching look at a bar in Utah but i was too shy to send one back. Is she still going out with Vincent Gallo?  He is not good for her. If she acted in my movie I would be happy with a cuddle and a chat on screen. But New Yorkers really know how to take it the next step.
My manager is too angry to sing.
So that leaves……
Delvene Delaney?

Our Delvene 30 years ago

Our Delvene 30 years ago

in the wilderness of my mind i crouch over a wet pile of tinder and blow fruitlessly

NEXT FEW DAYS!

The last blast of arctic winter has hit us and we huddle around the potbelly and laptops every morning making plans and tuning instruments. I have concocted a new breakfast with COUS COUS using dates and honey and yoghurt and cinnamon.

SWEET BREAKFAST TIMES

SWEET BREAKFAST TIMES

Engineer mR Burke has never eaten so well on a recording gig. His recent jobs were more lean and dangerous, The Drones snared animals in the forest with traps made of old guitar pedals and The Mess Hall chew their leather jackets for sustenance. We are rocking an customised recording Tagine and Indra’s magic sPICE pOUCH filled with arcane Sri Lankan goodness and we the Dan Kelly Dream Band are gonna use that stuff. We may come out sounding a little more full than those bands but i’m resigned to my place in the turgid miasma of oz rock.
Sometimes i drive to castlemaine pool to wrestle with the bandaids in the 17 meter (!) lap lane in a vain bid to stay fit. But after a couple of attempts i give up and resign myself to recording unhealthiness.
It’s about this point that i start developing feelings of dread and inadequacy as i stand tracking in a little hallway behind the band with nothing but a full length mirror of myself to look at . Take after take, Malkovitch after Malkovitch, i start freaking that the record won’t be done in time, my lyrics are shit, my guitar playing is too Malkmus and my voice is weak. This happens periodically anyway but the full length mirror in front of me starts to magnify the vortex of insincerity until i feel like i’m caught in the spirals in the middle of a black sabbath album

DAN KELLY MIND DAY 6

DAN KELLY MIND DAY 6

To take my mind of the pointless boredom of my worries i concentrate on Dave and Indra’s constant good natured baiting of each other and Dallas’ collection of ACID t shirts.

DALLAS IN ONE OF MANY ACID THEMED SHIRTS

DALLAS IN ONE OF MANY ACID THEMED SHIRTS

Meanwhile Burke sits in his tiny bedroom which is about 4 degrees warm and calls the shots. His beard is growing and his hair matting and he start to morph into his alter ego, BLACK RAINBOW.

BLACK RAINBOW IN NATURAL HABITAT

BLACK RAINBOW IN NATURAL HABITAT

Dallas heads home for a day and we get through a couple of songs without keys – I was a Teenage Classical DJ at Dandenong Station,  and Stressing Out!  Stressing Out! is about being drunk at hot yoga

ABOUT TO FALL OVER AT HOT YOGA

ABOUT TO FALL OVER AT HOT YOGA

and falling over after realising that i don’t have a single yet. It actually sounds like a single to me, but i’m bored of the Jackson Brown-esque focus on my life in the music industry that a couple of these songs are alluding to , and vow to change the lyrics in the middle of doing the third take. Of course with my speed at lyric writing that one move threatens to blow the whole album off course. So i’m stressing out about my single Stressing out which is about Stressing out about not having a single and Malkovitch Malkovitch Malkovitch ugh.

MALKOVICH

MALKOVICH

I start making a shrine to my Naturopath out of guitar picks and old Rolling Stone magazines and praying to it every night for guidance.
What would Nick Cave do?

NICK WOULD KNOW

NICK WOULD KNOW

Day Three. The Smell of Petrol in the morning

DAY THREE

After learning the hard way about recording digital music on the whims of generator, we settle into a routine. Three hours  tracking, then refuel the generator, a snack, watch some Tim and Eric, then tracking again.

some special tim and eric for you

Today then every two days  henceforth we’ll need to make the trip into Daylesford for more petrol. The fuel cans both leak out of the top so we can’t fill them up more than three quarters and have to elaborately jam them into place in the boot with a combination of bricks, amp cases and occ. straps lest they fall over on one of the dirt road turns out of the property.
Indra’s little machine does the first trip and we blast Black Flag and Manahan Street band out of his tinny speakers.
Neither of us are great with directions so there are a lot of late corners taken at Indra speed as we realise we’re about to miss every turnoff. As a result the car is reeking of petrol by the time we get back. I get the feeling I’m gonna smell like this for two weeks.

indra negotiating local traffic

We try three songs today. The Decommissioner, Grown up Solutions and Toll Driving on February 5.
Toll Driving is up first and the band settles into a kind of groove that wouldn’t be out  of place on an early seventies Stones or Faces record. It sounds great and we all relax and try and get a good take down. I start to feel a bit weird about my kind of zany middle aged brisbanite theme on this one, as it might be more suited to a straight up Junior Murvin falsetto about crossing the Red Sea on a Jet Ski.

Junior warming up for red sea crossing

I file that away till later and just concentrate on trying to play like JJ Cale.
We have a good take by 1pm and dave does a little dance so i think thats a good sign.
The Decommissioner is my jaunty song about an indie band that goes on tour blowing up coal fire power stations. I expect to get in trouble for this song but nobody ever really pays attention to lyrics anyway unless they’re about love being like the wild inner feelings of rabbits and foxes. So i’m not to worried. I don’t think it’s actually illegal coz i’m not the guy in the song. But i should get my Lawyer uncle Tony to look that shit up before I put the record out.
We track this one forever as we again struggle with slow versus fast, click track versus no click. My radar for this stuff is strangely scrambled and we bash on into the night like the Kinks being led by a confused public servant. We finally settle on a good one with no click track( more on that later, ahem) and i go to bed with the sound crickets in my head.
Grown Up Solutions will have to wait for tomorrow. I’ve been putting them off for years anyway.

GEN PETTY TIME

GEN PETTY TIME