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The Music Page

Click on the triangle at the left to preview a track; click on the song title to learn more; click on the cart to buy it!

 

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    One of the stranger tracks I recorded for The Korea Project... not that any of them weren't strange. We had to work hard to time that can opening sound! Had to be very authentic... good Canadian micro-brew... and, well, you can't do another take until you've finished the first can... I'm surprised there are no out-takes from the session of us singing "Take Off (To the Great White North)". I guess I turned off the recorder in time.

    So take off, eh? Hoser.

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    Lyrics by Kevin Perry, music by Kevin, Ben Deschamps and Ruth Harper. London, 2001... the fog rolls across the cold ground... lights flicker as a monstrous digital apparatus lurches to life. Nurse Mudchute rises again! Profound space-rock silliness ensues. Thrill to the anti-classic keyboard sounds of the Casio CZ-101! Wonder at the pseudo-orchestral string arrangements! Gasp in amazement that someone allowed me a bass solo!
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    A tiny, dutiful voice in the black depths of space, cheerful despite the friendless void. It only asks for a little solar radiation to charge its batteries, and a new crater or crag to explore.
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    A song I wrote many years ago with Heather Dale, and recorded it for the album "The Gabriel Hounds". I was never quite satisfied with the way it turned out though - it seemed too relaxed, too contented, and not sufficiently troubled. It is, after all, about a guy dreaming about all the crazy stuff the Celtic gods get up to in their spare time, and those Celts are weird. The song gets played pretty regularly in our live set, generally when Heather is off gabbing with someone and John and I want to get the show moving again, so it's become mostly a duet between guitar and drums, rather than guitar and flute as originally recorded; it seemed natural to capture that rather more frenetic, tossing and turning energy this time around. Good luck pronouncing the title!
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    I'd honestly forgotten that I'd written this song, many years ago. The version presented here was recorded in 2001, with me on bass and synths, Kev Perry on guitars, synths and probably drum programming, and Ruth Harper on vocals. Nostalgia is not just a memory of pain - we had a lot of fun back in London, when you could play gigs for biker conventions, have your drum synth rack crap out and somehow not get killed.
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    One of the stranger, and yet more delightful, songs to come out of my decades of collaboration with James Clitheroe. Shadoobie! Please note: no sandwiches are included in this product. But I'm sure you can make yourself one.
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    If I could somehow un-be me... I wouldn't even try. Back in a rock vein - and this song includes one of my favourite guitar solos of all time. As well as some of my favourite lyrics, courtesy of James Clitheroe. And synths, and gang vocals... so much fun 🙂
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    Picture the Great Plains of Fairyland, where the wild herds of velocipedes roam, unhindered by roads, fences, or pedestrians.
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    A Scandinavian fiddle tune, by way of Edward Gorey and SJ Tucker's insane creeptasticity.
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    A happy little Christmas ditty. This is what happens when you let us write songs on the road. Best listened to as you take the balls off the old Christmas tree.
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    The morning after the last show of our very first tour together in 2004, Heather and I had two choices for our drive through the Rocky Mountains: Highway 1, which is a well-maintained, well-ploughed four-lane highway, or Highway 99, which is a euphemism. It's not a bloody highway at all, it's a goat track. The only time we saw other people on the road was when an 18-wheeler came careening around the corner in our lane. But noooooooooo, said Heather, it'll be scenic, said Heather. And then she slept the whole damn way. Oh and did I mention it was the first blizzard of the season? Anyway, at 9 am, I pulled in to a scenic layby to unclench my hands, and Heather went to look over the vistacular cliff. I was sore tempted to give her a push... but obviously I didn't. That night when the RCMP ordered us off the road (apparently it was closed the whole time! Who knew?) in Revelstoke, I wrote this song to "celebrate" the "fun" and "scenic" journey. Fun trivia fact, though, this picture is from that very morning! You can't even see me scheming.
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    Another of my experimental ambient noise tracks from the 90s, with the Electric Wallaby Ensemble. Watch out for your speakers, it gets loud 🙂
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    The superhero we need today. Because there ain't nobody gonna mess with her when she's standing on your brain. Back to a more traditional guitars/drums/rock-and-or-roll approach on this one. I think you'll like it. Also featuring a chorus of "Whoa-ohhh"s which are the exclusive reason I love Bon Jovi. But don't tell anybody that last part. You may notice that the image for this song is not up to my usual standard. By "my" usual standard, of course, I mean Heather's... but she's out of town with no access to a computer to edit images, so I'm left to fend for myself. I'll put something better up Real Soon Now, I promise 🙂
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    A bit of a deviation from the norm here. This track was recorded in 1997 by a group I had called the Electric Wallaby Ensemble. Hey, at least we actually had a name, unlike most weird bands I've been in. It was amazingly fun - as long as you weren't, for example, a pair of hi-fi speakers at the time, because we destroyed them with grim determination. Bill Fuller was the other protagonist, and we played everything from DX-7s to trackers to chairs. Bonus points if you remember what a tracker was! Ambient noise, inspired by Merzbow, Neubauten and Skinny Puppy. Back when computer recording was young and a "gig" was something I took a guitar to. I think my recording computer had a 500 meg hard drive back then, and I suspect I had to hook an abacus up to get extra RAM. I do recall having at least 8 megs of RAM on my sound card though, and that was pretty impressive...
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    A spacey little number, hearkening back to my days in the British space rock scene. We were inspired yesterday by the events around the comet landing and came up with this. The first movement is an entirely improvised guitar/keyboard duet with Heather Dale, and the second movement is a bit more planned out. Sort of the opposite of how the Rosetta mission has played out so far! Thanks to Jim Mahaffey, on whose Les Paul the second movement was composed, and to Ryan Loyd, whose relentless encouragement about the spacey sounds ensured this would happen.
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    What I do, you know it's true, Is blame it all on you.
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    It's one of the great existential questions of all time. I mean, they've got those tiny little arms, but they also have those really big teeth.  The guitarist learns not to fear the Tyrannosaur. But sometimes fear is good.
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    I've always loved the sound of electronic music, but I've always been utterly rubbish at making it myself. Either I made a series of obnoxious noises that would sterilize weasels, or I made an exact duplicate of the crap part of Rhythm Is A Dancer (I know, which part is that, right?) Anyway, I decided to try something different, and instead of drawing all the beats and synths in with a pencil tool as those of us who can't play keys worth a hill of beans generally do, I played them all with a keyboard. Badly. But a gazillion takes later, I discovered that I suddenly heard the energy that I'd always wanted out of electronic music... and so of course I picked up Ye Olde Trusty Strat #3 and went to town. Not the usual electronica, and I'm quite happy about that!
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    I wrote this one after my first tour with Heather Dale. When we were in Vancouver, BC, on December 1st 2004, we had a fairly surreal experience: I dropped Heather off on a beach at 5 am for a photo shoot (which became the cover of the Road to Santiago album), where she merrily cavorted about in a sun-dress through the sand... and the brambles... and the frost. I drove half an hour away up the mountain, and stepped out into waist-deep snow. We both watched the sun rise over the mountains, from a few hundred feet difference in elevation, and then I drove back, picked her up, and realized she was smurf-blue and put her in a hot tub to bring her back to life. So that's where the Separate Sunrises come from. For what it's worth, I wasn't cold at all! But I had jeans on, I guess, not a sun-dress. Thankfully.
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    A track co-written with the ludicrously talented (and generally ludicrous) James Clitheroe. James and I have been writing music together since George Bush Sr was in office, which is a terrifying prospect. I'd love to explain the lyrics to this song, but I really can't. It was amazingly fun to play though, and makes me grin every time I hear it.
  • Apparently some people want just a shirt. A shirt about how nobody likes it when I speak. Should I be offended? Maybe. (In case you can't see, the shirt says "Nobody likes it when I speak." And it's drawn by Rich Morris of Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic, who is awesome. Go read his stuff, seriously. Watch out for the angry dwarf.)
  • Buy this if you want ALL the mp3s I'm releasing this year. 52 songs (at least) for $50. Of course, all the songs aren't available just yet - but you can just log in to your account and download them as they come out, without mucking about with paying each week 🙂
  • Thank you for being a patron of the arts! This pack includes  ALL the mp3s I'm releasing this year, plus two custom CDs (your choice of tracks & running order, with hand-written liner notes using a Fancy Pen) and a hand-made t-shirt based on the design shown. Of course, all the songs aren't available just yet - but you can just log in to your account and download them as they come out, without mucking about with paying each week 🙂
  • Thank you for being a patron of the arts! This pack includes  ALL the mp3s I'm releasing this year, plus two custom CDs (your choice of tracks & running order, with hand-written liner notes using a Fancy Pen). Of course, all the songs aren't available just yet - but you can just log in to your account and download them as they come out, without mucking about with paying each week 🙂
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