Tuesday, December 9, 2008

More Explanation on Cowboy and Miniman

My Band Des Peres named our new album The Adventures of Cowboy and Miniman and huge numbers of people have been asking for the meaning of the title.
On October 14 in my third blog I gave my explanation on who Cowboy and Miniman were (Scroll down to see). Here is a little further insight int the type of brave and creative men they were.

Cowboy and Miniman loved to fight, they loved to attack, burst forward, charge, surround, launch missiles, block, thrust, encircle, destroy.
But that last word was the one thing they seemed incapable of doing. Their strength and military knowledge was of such equal footing that neither of them could shift their opponent even an inch. That’s not to presume that losses weren’t taken, in fact huge loses were taken on both sides.
Battle forces were smashed and women lost husbands. But just as armies were lost they were rebuilt. Both these foreign adventurers and warmongers had the persuasive gifts including the tongue and the gold coin.
Their spirit of discovery had long since changed from the desire to find lost treasures. Instead rare powers were sought by both leaders to gain the upper hand.
Miniman possessed a great talent in his voice. He had the type of voice that could sail, drift, or float but more importantly when really turned up to its full volume through methods of diaphragm control it could pierce through shards of glass, shattering them into a million pieces.
At nights before a battle or on a long march through the thick jungles when his men were tired he would use his voice to calm his men by singing out over the camp, but it was his voices vengeful side that became his interest in his current position, trying to discover his inner weapon.
If he could train others in his army the power of the human voice to reek havoc over whatever it was aimed at surely he would have a weapon at his disposal to crush his weak eared opponent.
There were reasons for both the beauty and sharp ugliness of his voice, the most significant of these being that he was indeed a miniman. With his newly chosen choir of soldiers who were to become his highly skilled killing machine he trained them in all the most modern techniques of singing, how to hold your note, how to produce articulation of the highest order, how to fire out rhythm, how to lull your enemies in with slowly shifting melody, who to control your breathing and stomach muscles to increase in pitch but most importantly he had them all castrated. And then they were ready, for they to had become the ultimate miniman army.
So one evening he marched his choir out........

Northcote Social Club

Pre gig the venue is great, they work with you in regards to publicity etc and know what they are doing.
The sound system cost a trillion dollars and there is the problem. Sounds to clean, , band room is great except in Summer because their isn’t airconditioning up there, but it has a TV, generous rider. Venue staff don’t like it if you make a mess, they will charge you a carpet cleaning bill. Hard to get a vibe in the venue. Food isn’t good

Bennetts Lane –Melbourne JAZZ

One vibe and if you don’t like that you wont have a good time. No rider whatsoever

Friday, December 5, 2008

Magic Dirt

When we checked into the airport this morning, in the line behind us was another band. This is a key moment on tour and can easily go ugly if you don't know how to handle it. I for one do know how to handle it. Taking in that they had more tattoos than us and were of a slightly higher profile I knew quick tactics needed to be handed out and someone needed to don the generals hat and non of the other patsies I was with was likely to. So I circulated carefully amongst my team members and informed them of the situation we were in and how we were to proceed. Both bands checked in side by side, gear sprawling across the airport floor in a ocean of black. Trolleys were quickly loaded and a rush was made to the oversize baggage and out of that initial battle. Conveniently Qantas had seated us next to each other on a packed aeroplane so the avoidance of acknowledgment was getting progressively more difficult especially if one had to make his or her way to the bathroom. At the other end of the flight the situation played itself out in reverse as we raced to find free trolleys and load ourselves up once again at that battlefeild where many a soldier has shed pools of blood - oversize. The intensity did not let up at as we stumbled and crawled to the rental joint , injured but determined to find 2 all most identical vehicals parked next to each other manned by red uniformed monkeys with their performing caps bouncing on their sad thin heads, eager to please and eager to betray.
Our van was a 12 seater theirs was a 14, the edge had been handed to them. Load Load good man Load. And drive
Down the highway tears rolling we had one, then there they were, pulled up right beside, cannons loaded, a mad admiral screaming
Fire all guns
And we sank
And we sank
And we sank

Venue Review Number 4

The Metro Theatre – SYDNEY, NSW
Love it. Its big, ugly and only exists to serve one purpose, like an old fat drunk


The Brass Monkey – CRONULLA, NSW
The venue owner showers you with his outstanding collection of Taquilas and Absinths (he has over 70 different tequlas of which only 30 get sold to the public) and his grand fathers special moonshine. But you have to play his game to get the service. It’s a game that shows you hows boss and is done in a slightly confusing form of generosity.
The room is as cold as a brass monkey and you can never forget that you re in Cronulla


Monday, December 1, 2008

Australian Venue Rating System

Over the next little while I will be reviewing all the venues that I have performed at this year. These reviews will generally fall at the end of my blogs and are designed to help other musicians, audience members and bands to make decisions on where to hold a gig or whether to go to a gig. This will then continue on to me rating everything. The idea came to me during the tour I’m currently on. Touring days are filled with a lot of time wasting. The sound check happens at about 5 and then you are usually sitting around in the venue until you play at 11 and then more sitting after the gig till about 2 when you leave for the hotel. In that sitting time you look at all the band posters on the wall and I have begun to give them a score out of ten – scoring both the posters and then also the band. I will post those ratings at a later date which will help you decide on whether to download their albums for free or not cause you’d be stupid to actually buy a CD these days.

Here is the list of venues I have played at this year that will be rated.

The Speigeltent, MELBOURNE VIC
The Powerhouse – BRISBANE, QLD
Clarendon Guest House, KATOOMBA NSW
The Heritage Hotel, BULLI NSW 

Bathurst Theater
The Metro Theatre – SYDNEY, NSW
Joes Waterhole – EUMUNDI, QLD
The Brass Monkey Cronulla NSW
Lake Kawana Arts Theartre– CALOUNDRA, QLD
Mullum Music Festival. Civic Hall - MULLUMBIMBY, NSW
Ruby’s in Belgrave Melbourne
The Peninsula Lounge – MORNINGTON, VIC
The Corner Hotel – MELBOURNE, VIC
The Governor Hindmarsh hotel– ADELAIDE, SA
The Bakery – PERTH, WA 

Fly By Night Musicians Club – FREMANTLE, WA
Republic Bar Hobart
Northcote Social Club Melbourne
Bennetts Lane Melbourne
Q Bar/Spectrum – Sydney
Tabu Nightclub – Brisbane
Pony Melbourne
45 Downstairs Melbourne
Revolver Melbourne
The Tote Melbourne
Transit Lounge Melbourne
Pure Pop Records Melbourne
Trades Hall Melbourne
Bar Open Melbourne
Point Cook Shopping Center Victoria
Birmingham Hotel Melbourne
Noise Bar Melbourne
Sydney Warehouse Parties
The Grand Prix Melbourne
303 Melbourne
Federation Square Melbourne
La Mamma Theartre Melbourne
Federation Square Melbourne
HiFi Bar Melbourne

Because this is the first I will review four this time. Feel free to add your own comments if you have any experience.

The Speigeltent, MELBOURNE VIC
While this joint has all the history of a Charlie Chaplin silent movie and seems to attract crowds by itself, the staff, while desperately trying as hard as possible to make us believe they have been teleported from the era the venue was originally built, are a little “to cool for school” while having no cool at all. Once was great now is tired but hey it's old isn't it.
No free drinks for the band loses this slightly desperate venue marks


Clarendon Guest House, KATOOMBA NSW

Fantastic The staff are exactly what you want from staff at a guesthouse – they are kind of like your Uncle and Aunty for the night, they give you anything you want, put you up for the night in their antiquated, ghost infested guesthouse, free drinks, dinner and breakfast the next morning, all the food tastes slightly strange but you appreciate the effort anyway, the stage has red curtains, is there anything more that needs to be said


The Heritage Hotel, BULLI NSW

Weird, hard to like even though I want to.
The staff here are trying very hard because they know they have to.. they are living on the outskirts of Wollongong for goodness sakes. Actually because they live on the outskirts of Wollongong it gives them slightly more credibility. The women who run the joint are hard nosed, all of them and they are the ones in power. You would have to be hard noised to be a female running a pub on the outskirts of Wollongong. The sound guy used to be an overly energetic pleaser but about a year ago he started to date one of these hard noise women who manage the place and appears to have had all the life driven out of him
Bed bugs in the rooms

Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Center
As far as community theaters go (and they all go exactly the same) it’s OK. Unfortunatley they named the place before looking at it and left out the key component of memorability. Being Bathurst this is not the center of entertainment we all know that is instead a car racing track.

Friday, November 28, 2008

audio file

Learning how to embed audio into this blog
This is Des Peres's track Dynamite

Monday, November 24, 2008

Data driven teaching rocks my very small world

I have noticed in my role as a music teacher that there has been a recent swing away from open ended, student driven learning to data driven, closed, assessment and results driven learning. When I started teaching I was so excited to learn that things had moved from the draconian days when I was a child, at the same time I was warned that everything in teaching goes in cycles and I have now been a part of the institution to see the first turn.
Once again things such as task completion and surprise, surprise “Spelling” assessment have taken over in the scale of importance from concepts such as deeper level thinking and the encouragement of “ideas”.
I love data collection because it shows us whatever it is we want it to show us and justify whatever it is we want to justify, including bad teaching and wow does it make us feel so much better about ourselves to be able to carry around reams of useless paper with various results on them.
We feel better about our sad selves because of the amount of work it took to get all those results.
Sad Sad Sad small world

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Last night I was playing at The Eumundi Hotel, or more specifically Joes Water Hole, in the aptly named Eumundi with C W Stoneking and his band of mad troupers. I haven’t been to a pub like the Eumundi Hotel in a long time and actually forgot that these places actually still exist. In fact I forget places like Queensland actually still exist. Eumundi is a tiny almost novelty like town that has built its entire reputation around it’s famed markets. SO when that’s not on there ain’t much to do but sit in the pub. And sit we did. Our sound check finished at four giving us 6 hours to sit before the gig started.
The front bar of the hotel is like some sort of set design from a forgettable Australian movie from the 1980s. Every man was wearing short rugby shorts, some sort of blue singlet or collared tshirt and a cap that had been provided for them by a tooling or paint company. Most of them had beards that dropped down to their knees. The few women in the joint had earned there place in the front bar by the physical resemblance to there male counterparts and the stench of rotting underarms was coming from both sexes.
At 5 it was free dinner time and plates of overcooked rock hard party pies, chips and spring rolls were placed on the bar. As I bit into one it scolded my lip so badly a blister rose up immediately. A bell rang at 6 indicating Happy Hour which reduced the price of beer by a grand total of 30cents Raffle tickets were sold and the meat tray and free beers were won by the scrawny tart sitting to my right. The previous week she had won a meal for two at the local restaurant to the value of $20 to which I pointed that might only pay for half her meal she didn’t seem to bothered as she was struggling to find a partner anyway.
Gig finally got under way and the room was heaving with humidity charged alcohol fuelled Queenslanders. After letting a couple of youngsters break into the venue by climbing through the bands changing room window I found my way to the stage.
It was an interesting night for me because I was testing a new theory. I have recently taken to shaving my chest in an attempt to change the way I wear my cloths. Up until now I have buttoned my buttons up to the top of my shirt but I thought if I have a new chest appearance it would be like having a different persons chest so there for could be decorated differently. Almost like disassociating with my various body parts and treating them as though they were somebody else’s. I have therefore been taking to have at least 2 of my buttons open, but last night I thought I would set marker points in the set where I would open another button and therefore aim for the glorious point of having a completely open shirt by gigs end. Things went well initially and by the 45 minute mark I was down to one button left. It was at this point, which is always the most challenging part of a set as your mind recognizes the end is near and so starts to lose focus, it also lost focus on the fashion challenge at hand and a mild paranoia set it and my own chest started coming back to my body. No matter how much I fought this I regret that I failed and was sure that I would be cut down by various members of the band for my failures. Fortunately for me no one seemed to notice as the were more interested in watching the more than entertaining an violent fights breaking out in the audience.
Queensland is a great place to experiment via subterfuge

Monday, November 17, 2008

QUT Lecture

For Those interested I will be giving a paper at the Queensland University of Technology this Thursday at 2. It will be titled The creation of The Escalators - David Lynch Sampling and Memory and will be an overview of my cuurent work in my Masters studies. The Escalators is the band I have written a large body of work for that takes in my interest in David Lynchs movies, the Use of the sampler as an improvising instrument and specifically how that relates to human memory and the use of rule based compositional techniques.
I will be blogging parts of my paper in the coming weeks.

London and Sydney

Played one of the great gigs of my career on Saturday night as part of the CW Stoneking and his Primitive Horn Orchestra tour. Sold out at Sydney's Metro Theatre the energy in the hall was breathtaking. It was the fourth gig of the tour and all the things that are required for a band to really find it's feet was happening.
The tour opener is a New York madman called Brown Bird Rudy Relic. Brown Bird whLinkile being the cleanest man in that dirty tradition of the blues also has the loudest voice in the animal kingdom.
CW Stonekings band is full of cracking musicians including Ollie Brown (Art of Fighting), Steven Grant, James Clarke (Society Syncopators) and together this band produces music from another planet. HOT DAMN.

Back in the world of Des Peres here is a video that myself and Luva DJ made for one of the tracks off our album

Saturday, November 8, 2008

new melbourne sounds for your listening pleasure

I did a gig at Pony (legendary Melbourne rock venue) last weekend and saw three bands that I had never heard of or only new a little of. They were playing on the same bill and I was totally blown away by all of them. They were all pushing some sort of limit, whether that be distortion, rhythm, length of pieces, form or even conventional style, and each act played music that I felt like I had hardly any reference point to. Incredibly refreshing when so many musicians I know are so highly committed to playing in a revisionist manner. The new always excites.
The line up was
Touch Typist
10000 Killed in Chile (the band I was playing with)
and Duck Duck Chop

Check them all out and support those trying to push new ideas rather than the easy option of what you know

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tour Posters

Here are tour posters for gigs and tours I have coming up
The first one is for my band Des Peres
Quite unlike anything else you will see in Australia
and the second one is for is for CW Stoneking.
He is a great storyteller, song writer and guitar player and quite unlike anything else you will see in Australia
You can see what I count as important in life Things that arent like the other things you'll find in Australia

Saturday, November 1, 2008

How to make money on new years

The experiences of a musician for hire are the same the world over. A never ending uncertainty concerning every single gig and added to that a general scense of weirdness surrounding almost every gig. Here's a tale that gives you a taste.
Once a year on the 15th of December I get a phone call. The man on the other end of the line is a fat, very wealth restaurateur who never has any idea who I am despite the fact the fact he has called me every year on this exact date for the last 5 years.
“ Hi is This ahhh how do you say your name, Kynan, is it” he says with the sort of tone that comes from a man who has always been pigeonholed as a jolly fellow.
“yes it is , hi Alf good to speak to you again”
“Ah good, hi Kynan, you don’t know me , Adam Simmons gave me your number. You see we have a new years bash at my house every year, lots of fun, my wife likes to have a brass band at it, I want Adam Simmons but it seems he’s very busy, he’s very good that guy I love listening to him. Anyway he tells me you might be able to organise something. Is that something you could do. Get my wife a brass band for my New Years bash.”
“Of course”
“Good good good, now get some trumpets saxophones drums the whole lot play some music, have a drink you’ll love it. Now I want American Patrol – you know that song Da Da Da dumda da. Of course you know it, the wife loves it so play that oh and also the Peter Gun tune play that. I don’t care what else you play. Actually if you just want to play those two and just keep playing them that’s fine with me, especially that Peter Gun. What do you play?”
“Oh right oh, ok, bring one of those along…and some drums saxophones, oh I’m sure you know what your doing, just get American Patrol OK. Right see you then but 11.”
And the phone goes dead.
This conversation isn’t all that dissimilar to any other weird gig promoter who has his own delusional ideas of what makes a great event except that it comes around like clockwork every year, word for word, and no matter what I try to do each year big Alf blocks me out of his memory without blocking the routine.
So I make a few phone calls get a baritone sax, a trumpet, and two marching band drummers and we show up to his mansion at about 11.00 on new years.
The party atmosphere is unchanging from year to year, about 15 people sitting around looking fairly unenthused despite the surrounding madness. When we enter the house pushing past the collection of choristers that are lining the staircase getting ready for their set Alf come s striding up , arm outstretched, huge feathers sticking out of what must be regarded in some quarters as a hat, shirt open revealing the grey haired mat on his leather chest.
“You must be Kynan” he bellows.
“Yep the same as last year”
“Right heres the routine after the choir finishes you guys come on for about an hour set, that be right with you? Great what do you think of my hat. I got this this at the set of Pricilla Queen of the dessert. I’ll put my fire mans hat on in a while. Help yourself to anything, You want to come out and see my Lamborghini? What do you think of my chandelier, had it imported from Italy I hate it. I’ve got some costumes I want you to wear, go get changed in that spare bedroom. The chandelier cost me thousands, hundreds of thousand, the wife wanted it. See you when your ready.” Even with his huge fat voice he still has to speak louder than usual to bellow over the police bagpipe and drum band he has performing in the kitchen. This seems like no place for a police outfit unless you were wearing a skirt which this ones conveniently are.

Same drill as last year which we follow to the letter.

And come out charging determined to blow the 15 drowsily drunk guests off there feet. We start with a calypso number which on its conclusion draws an immediate response from Alf
“Alright boys enough of that just give us American Patrol followed by Peter Gun and loudly.”
So we do for the next hour at which stage it is the comedians turn.
When its over Alf stuffs wads of 50 and 100 dollar bills into my hand tells me he loves it. And says. I don’t think we’ll bother with that Adam Simmons next year, we’ll just get you.

Lats night I played a gig with one of the most unusual pop bands I've ever experienced
10000 killed in Chile. Check them out their great

Saturday, October 25, 2008

sampling other peoples lives

I know a musician friend who is in the process of stealing a friend of his’s story and making it part of his own lifes makeup. She shared a story with him that she was going to turn into song.
He liked it so much he took it and started slipping it into stories and answers he gave when he was doing interviews. He then slid it in so much it became a vital part of his history and interviewers actually started asking him about it. Once its in the media it becomes truth for both the teller and the reader.
He still had some notion of self doubt enough to email the original storyteller and suggest she alter her song idea to instead being about someone who had stolen one of her stories aadn was using it for them selves. And only reveal the story in the last verse – it didn’t require a complete song but only a verse within a stronger story.
He hasn’t had a response from the women but I will let you know if he gets one.

Tonight I start my tour with a man called C.W.Stoneking
we play tonight at The Melbourne Spiegletent before heading around the country.

heres a photo I took in country Australia while on tour with Des Peres
there is work out there even in these hard times. The music industry had its greatest boom in the original depression, so its good news for all of us.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Des Peres released a new album

Hi all my band Des Peres has just released our new album
The Adventures of Cowboy and Miniman avalaible from itunes or record stores or from our myspace site

Heres an explantion of the title

Cowboy and Miniman two of the greatest and at the same time most inept of all the modern explorers. Modern being from within the last 400 to 600 years. Mainly responsible for some smallish discoveries throughout mainland Central South America they became preoccupied with depriving the other of discovering anything, thus gaining the upper hand in the quest to obtain the favour of the then King of Spain and the possibility of marriage to one of his rose like nieces.
Their deprivation started at a petty level, involving the employment of local Indians to thieve supplies and ponies from the other in order to hinder their exploration plans but like all good rivalries it grew until both explorers took on the new title and job descriptions of generals of the small but dangerous armies they had amassed in order to beat down the other.
As both men waged a ferocious and expensive war upon each other many men were lost, many provisions destroyed until the final and ultimate loss was suffered which was that of the mind of these once semi great men.
Both slid into a state of absolute delusion forgetting the king they were once trying to impress but rather believing they were instead kings themselves. Unfortunately their delusion of kingship didn’t lead to them actually obtaining a royal niece in marriage. In fact neither married at all and in the case of the one with the severe physical shortages – in that he was very short – he struggled to find himself even a cheap whore who would be prepared to share his bed and after a brief flirtation with Amazonian pygmies actually gave up on the idea of female companionship all together.
Neither of these men will ever go down in the annals of the great explorers who’s names I don’t need to mention here but to me they will always be an inspiration as two men who were supposedly good at finding things but instead got quite lost…. And isn’t that the best state to be?
The Adventures of Cowboy and Miniman – So much better than all those other Adventurers

Monday, March 31, 2008

More on the House of Pow

am no teacher but my father was a preacher so I have seen him show the people. I will try
If you are there you know, welcome and grab yourself a bed. If you aren’t, there are plenty of invites floating around, find one for yourself, put on your best suit, grab a cane, umbrella or taxidermist’s bird (make it a big one) and hail a street car. But make sure you bring a plate, a plate full of big love. Love for all things fast, red, a love of slight of hand, a love of loud sounds when you need them, a love of theft when the object can be better used, a love of all things old but only when presented in a new way, a love of fox skins and a love of that deep, deep POW.
POW is when you are being held up against the wall but a man much bigger and stronger than you, adrenalin pumping but oxygen leaving, only one thought comes to your head POW
POW is when you can take over a back stage after a roaring concert by singing nothing but American work songs unrelentingly and then use the same skill to unload all the band of all their drinks, negotiate your way around a large city, order a Greek dinner delight and then wave goodbye all without dropping a note.
House of POW is a lifestyle. If you don’t see the world this way you might never but you must try and try and try. You must Must Must.
House of POW is music . The best music, music you cant understand but it gets you, gets you in that spot. The spot that fills you with groove and move, fills you desire, lust passion hatred love all of the great emotions. Fills you with confusion that says you must have more.
POW is when you know everything there is to know and the only thing left is to go POW
Des Peres is in the house of POW, Des Peres is its prime minister, president, sultan, and singalong chief.
Des Peres’s just finished the mixing process of the new album which makes it one step closer to being in your hot little hands or on your funky new personlised digital readers or flashing at you from your computers or however it is you enjoy DES.
I might even upload some new tracks for you in the next coupla days
GOD BLESS you all


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Des Peres and the House of POW

Let me introduce to you the house of PoW
I don't really need to say more, as the phrase itself combined with your more than adequate imaginations should be sufficient I'm sure, but the rules of writing require that I do.
The House of PoW is a house full of stolen bits and it might fall down at any minute but for some science defying reason, it never does. Rather it continues to operate as a high powered pleasure provider for young men and women in this crazy old mystical mass we refer to as THE WORLD.
In its backyard there is a picnic on a stupendous scale, where the participants are young and beautiful and eat an endless supply of donuts, cakes and chicken pies. Whose daily programme of events consist of everything and anything from darts, to champagne swimming, to camel races, to hunting the great lion of Africa, to dubbing out under a banana tree, to climbing the technological hights, to cat burglary, to reading of mighty literature, to converstions with to many implications. There will be green spectacles and umbrellas, veils for Egypt and rough clothing for the pilgrimising in the holy land, Dark coats for Paris and saddles for Syria.
Light musical instruments are encouraged.
It consists of all the great and bad houses you have lived in seen or read about and none of them at the same time. The gingerbread house, something from Frank Lloyd – Wright, Coltranes House, Parliaments House, William Burroughs House, Iannis Xenakis' House, The Art Ensemble of Chicago's House, Miles Davis' House, Prince's house, Buckingham Palace and The hanging garden of Babylon, and Talking Heads House, the house that was built on the rock as well as the one that fell done on the sand and every other house not mentioned that held people together.
What was there lacking about that programme to make it perfectly irresistible? Nothing that any finite mind could discover.
It was and is the House of POW and it is Irresistible

The recording of Des Peres' House of PoW is due for release in 2008

Des Peres is one of my many musical univerces