Saturday, 17 April 2010

Track 7: "Down in the Zero"

Pre-order the CD now, and get an instant download of the whole album.

<a href="">Down in the Zero by Monday Machines</a>

Friday, 16 April 2010

Track 6: "Released"

Pre-order the CD now, and get an instant download of the whole album.

<a href="">Released by Monday Machines</a>

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Track 5: "Spinning Plates"

Pre-order the CD now, and get an instant download of the whole album.

<a href="">Spinning Plates by Monday Machines</a>

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Track 4: "Alive"

Pre-order the CD now, and get an instant download of the whole album.

<a href="">Alive by Monday Machines</a>

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Track 3: "The Answer"

Pre-order the CD now, and get an instant download of the whole album.

<a href="">The Answer by Monday Machines</a>

Monday, 12 April 2010

Track 2: "Narcissus"

Pre-order the CD now, and get an instant download of the whole album.

&amp;amp;amp;lt;a href=""&amp;amp;amp;gt;Narcissus by Monday Machines&amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;gt;

Friday, 9 April 2010

Monday Machines CD Ships April 17th; Pre-order Starting Monday.

Monday (April 12th), the download version of the Monday Machines album will go on sale, and we will also begin accepting advance orders for the CD package pictured above.

When you pre-order the CD, you will also get an instant download of the album!

Leading up to the CD release date, a new track from the album will be revealed for streaming every day, and will be posted on this blog and on our Facebook page.

CDs will actually begin shipping from April 17th. This is a limited edition, so order early to make sure you get one.

Monday, 22 March 2010

This Light Bulb Will Self-destruct

The light bulb is often used as a metaphor for a sudden “aha!”, an epiphany, the bright light of a fantastic idea switching on in one’s brain. But, what would happen if a government decreed that process must now happen in reverse?

Something like this, I would imagine:

(The sound of footsteps on stairs...and then voices in the dark.)

Did you hear anything?


Were you in here the whole time?

Um, yeah, as far as I can remember...

Well, the light is off and the light bulb is gone.

Burned out?

No, it’s gone. I can’t find it.


Some time later, the glass portion of the fantastic paranormal light bulb is spotted on the floor, unbroken, but definitely in the wrong place, and all life-signs are negative as regards photons.

It is soon thereafter discovered that the metal end remains in the socket, fully powered.

I suppose that’s what one gets for buying black-market 60 watt light bulbs. Since the ban, apparently, the counterfeiters have been busy.

But, look on the bright side: good thing it wasn’t a legal compact fluorescent, or we might have had mercury to clean up. Even without a toxic spill, I would probably be in bed with a migraine from the wretched, flickering thing.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Rainy Day Motorbiking

Today’s agenda primarily involved a trip to town to purchase some paper and spray adhesive to finish assembling the CD packages. It would have been much less messy if it hadn’t been raining, but this is England.

It rains.

A lot

It rains so much in fact, that one may as well not bother with the weather forecast. It’s completely wrong 90% of the time anyway, due to island weather being so changeable. It is much more practical to assume it will rain in some quantity sooner or later and prepare accordingly.

Fortunately, it is much warmer today, so being completely drenched was not as bad as it could have been. What was horrifying though was crossing the opaque brown river running off the fields and down the lane next to the house, not because of the depth of the water, but because of the smell. I’m told the fertilizer they put on the fields is something called “pig slurry”. Yeah. That’s nice.

The things I do for my art...

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Ruined Morning - Free Download!

“Ruined Morning” is the first track on the forthcoming Monday Machines CD. You can listen to the whole song below, and download it free here.

&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;a href=""&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;Ruined Morning (free download) by Monday Machines&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;

About this song:

One day last year, Allan was describing to me the non-stop din caused by the construction crews tearing up the road outside his apartment. He was trying to record guitar tracks, and was becoming very frustrated with the noise.

You probably can’t fight a bulldozer, so I thought about how he could turn it to his advantage. I decided it was really a wonderful opportunity to capture the ambience of dump trucks and jackhammers at close range from the comfort of home, so I suggested he record them.

A few days later, he was rudely awakened on a Monday morning by the sounds of large-scale asphalt demolition. Instead of being annoyed by it and letting it stop him from doing things, he smiled, and stuck some mics out the window, captured a couple of long wav files of the most clamorous clangings and rumblings, and had a wonderful time doing it. Suddenly the noise became creatively inspiring instead of negative. The actual noise was the same, but the context in which it existed was changed with a mere thought.

The recordings were vivid. You could almost see the bulldozers, and smell the noxious fumes from hot asphalt and diesel in the atmosphere when playing them back, and listening was instant inspiration for this song, which shows that—given the right context—noise can also be poetry and metaphor. The arrangement as it is on the album begins with my alarm clock going off and being thrown across the room in disgust. I think it is the most horrible sounding alarm clock in the whole world. So horrible, that I couldn’t resist sampling the vile distorted square wave tone, and using it as a melodic instrument in the choruses!

The title of this song, and our band name, both come from the names Allan gave that first set of files: “ruinedmorning.wav” and “mondaymachines.wav”.

Later, he went on to record a spontaneous improvisation with live jackhammers...but that’s the next track on the album...stay tuned.

And when life gives you noise, point a microphone at it!

Ruined Morning

On ruined morning: apocalypse kitchen.
Open the window—let the sounds of disaster in.
Telephone ringing: little alarm bells
Flaking the paint off. Colours slow down the spin.

And the jackhammer raindrops,
The crushing of clanging,
The shouting, it stills your tongue.
And then you remember,
The point, it has left you—
You cannot feel where it stung.

On ruined morning: pretentious collisions.
Cast iron railing measures angle grinder time.
Rude hesitations, arguing hard hats—
Convention of rubble: punishment defines the crime.

Careening concrete,
And clamorous boltings,
The sun-launched asphalt steam—
A cyclic upheaval,
A bulldozer nightmare,
But this is not a dream.

On ruined morning: the vertical highway
Terrifies no-one, for the sky is far from here.
The satellite photo, the thing you don't mention,
Peculiar direction—it is not to do with fear.

I wish you good luck—
See the quiver of arrows,
One of the points has your name.
A feedback collection,
A speaker excursion,
A cruel and deadly game.

On ruined morning: you recognise someone.
(All the faces look the same.)

© 2009 Cary Grace/Door 13 Music (BMI).

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

The Magic Stove: Harbinger of Doom

Have you heard about the Electrolux magic stove that cooks for you? You simply drop foodstuffs onto the flat surface of the stove and the range will analyze the ingredients, suggest recipes and then prepare the selected menu item for you.  There is a video demonstration here.

Obviously, it won't work. Imagine cooking bacon...or chili...or applesauce...or pasta...rice, potatoes or cabbage...there are a great many  simple dishes that would  suddenly become problematic using this device. And do you really want to be fed by a computer?  

Literally fed?

It scares me that this Electrolux 'concept' video has been making the rounds without any mention of it's imaginary nature. What scares me even more is Electrolux's bleakly cynical rationale behind the proposed design- the product is designed for what sounds like a dismal future indeed.
Electrolux says its concept kitchen was designed for a not-too-distant world in which most people will live in cities.
 In dense conditions, living space will be at a premium. No more spacious kitchens with separate breakfast nooks and formal dining rooms. Floor space for people will have to take precedence over single purpose appliances, regardless of how well engineered they may be.
 Electrolux Senior Vice President of Design, Henrik Otto says : "The appliances of the future will need to be integrated and adjustable,we won’t have room for a whole host of products each with their own specific function."

I'm afraid that we'll run out of bread and water long before we run out of room for toasters and skillets.

This dystopian future makes me ask other questions: Will audio be compressed further, possibly to a sub-atomic level, in a quest for elbow room?

Will there be room for my guitar or will it have to double as a kitchen tool?

That's not so far-fetched, really.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Mash for Brains

This afternoon, I attended the local potato and heirloom seed swap in town. I grow my own vegetables organically, and it was a great opportunity to get a nice big bag of mixed varieties of seed potatoes, which I did, but nothing could have prepared me for the strange demonstrations of ineptitude and futility I was about to encounter.

Some people would rather devise pointless gimmicks to get funding in the name of resource-wasting nonsense games in the guise of being “green” than really do something to conserve energy. It’s much easier to con people into giving you money than it is to dig the earth, grow your own food, cook from scratch, stop wasting stuff, and be reasonably useful...I guess.

It was a swindle of this nature which caught my sceptic’s eye—a large sign above a booth which read:

No Energy Cooking!

OK, right off the bat, we know that’s rubbish. Basic laws of physics, right? Plus, there should really be a hyphen in that phrase, but I’ll let that part slide for the moment.

Don’t worry, it gets worse.

Below the sign was a featureless plywood box, next to a plate of cut up baked potatoes and toppings which were being methodically grazed by a small herd of middle-aged women who clearly think they’ve stumbled upon a technological marvel, judging by their exuberant full-mouthed mumblings.

A new person approached the table, looked at the box, perplexed, and spoke...

Punter: So, how does it work?

Charlatan: (removes lid and pillow like sack) Well, see, these sacks are full of hay.

Punter: Hay?

Charlatan: Yeah, hay. There are some potatoes in there. Feel in there how warm it is.

Punter: (inserts hand) It’s a little bit warm.

Charlatan: Yeah, well, you see, we’ve been taking the lid off all afternoon. If we hadn’t, it would be warmer.

Punter: Where does the heat come from?

Charlatan: Um, well, um, see, if you were to cook a casserole in the oven for half an hour, and then put it in here, in about eight hours it would be cooked, whereas normally you’d have to cook it in the oven for an hour.

[At this point my food safety alarm goes off. I’m thinking about the likely possibility of under-cooked food, and storage for hours at an optimal temperature for bacterial growth, but the dialogue continues without touching on that subject of food poisoning.]

Punter:’s just...insulation then? Made of hay? In a box?

Charlatan: Um...yes. You can have a leaflet if you want. It explains all about it. Please take one.

Punter: So, those are already baked potatoes, baked in a normal oven, and they’re just being kept warm in that thing?

Charlatan: That’s right.

Punter: Would they continue to cook at all?

Charlatan: Well, maybe a little bit. If we weren’t taking the lid off. I’m not really sure actually. Take a leaflet. It explains all about how it works.

Just then I was distracted by a woman who had somehow managed to commandeer a microphone on the other side of the floor. She was talking about her latest invention, which she said was some kind of “new type of potato sack”.

Um. Yeah. OK.

I grabbed my spuds and made a run for it.

On the walk home, this piece of litter caught my eye.

...and closer:

Potato Dog?


I tried to picture for a moment the mutant foodstuff which the package proclaims to have once contained, then decided that, truly, I didn’t want to know.

I wondered momentarily if the leaflets I had handled an hour before had been pre-soaked in LSD (when I went to the cheese fair last year, I ate some cheese which caused fantastic hallucinations followed by an 18-hour migraine, so it’s a perfectly valid first step when faced with unexplained phenomena to rule out psychotropic contaminants), but I eventually deduced that, no, there is absolutely no drug powerful enough to cause my brain to interpret a piece of roadside litter in quite this way.

Must be real.

Reality is weird.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Just Deserts, or Just Dessert?

Random Human: So...what kind of music do you sing?

Me: It’s a lot like Japanese pizza.

Random Human: Japanese...what? How’s that?

Me: You wouldn’t understand.

Random Human: (...listens...) Well, I think you sound exactly like Olivia Newton-John.

Me: Exactly!

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Influence Peddling

 Influences? Is that really necessary?

In 1980, I had a  3am Sunday paper route and a portable Walkman cassette player the size of a college favorite cassette had  Deep Purple's Machine Head on one side and The Clash's first album on the other...the tape was finished with a few songs by an old UK punk band called 999 and the first six minutes of Pink Floyd's Astronomy Domine.

 During my final year of high school, I tried to teach myself to play guitar by listening to The Cramps' Smell of Female (Live at the Peppermint Lounge) LP over and over again...but the songs were too difficult for me to play, so I traded it in for a used (but seldom-played) copy of Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music.  That worked for me.

My first concert was Joe Walsh. My second was King Crimson. Third was the Talking Heads.

My friend Ron Curry gave me my only lesson in 1984...he sketched out a couple of major barre chords on the back of my notebook during a high school pep rally. I liked them so much that I never learned any others.

In 1986 I attended a Grateful Dead concert stone-cold sober. They played a extended cover of 'Gloria', which was bad enough, but Bob Weir added insult to odium by spelling it 'G-O-L-R-I-A'...over and over in-between endless guitar meanderings...I spent the next decade playing loud, fast and angry punk-metal. One band was hailed in the local press as being "destined to join [Richmond's ] rock pantheon"...we broke up the night before the review was published.

That influenced my decision to get a 'real job'.

Doing sound in nightclubs.

(To be continued.)

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Ear In The Snow

Pictured here: The HQ of Monday Machine's US division. Stalk me if you wish, my food supplies are running low.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Sound and Misadventure

This is my home studio. I'm thinking that I may have been swindled when I bought my Venetian sound-proofing. It doesn't dampen the sound of passing traffic one whit, the jangly metal strips actually exacerbate the racket. I tried to take it back, but the flea market had closed.

This is me in the old studio at the radio station that I DJ at. 

Notice that it has the same sound-proofing as my home studio.

What the radio studio doesn't have is a fancy knob.

I have the fancy knob. Somewhere...

This is how you convert LP3 files to MP3 files...the last time I did this, the whole block went dark...which was scary, since it was mid-afternoon. I thought at first that a ruanaway blimp had botted out the sky but it turned out to be something else.

 This how you fix the Internet:

It isn't working.