New Album Update!

An extended period of silence on the blog-posting front can only mean one thing.

I’m ensconced in the studio.

The next album is coming along swimmingly now. All the instruments have been recorded, and just this last week the vocals were completed.

Now I’m in the final mixing stage. And I’m struck with a strange sense of deja vu reminding me of mixing Two False Idols. That is, I went into it expecting sonic clarity, before discovering just how much sweeter echo made everything sound. Vocals, guitar solos, squeaking brakes, you name it. Vocals, guitar solos, squeaking brakes, you name it.

But on this new album, some of the musical arrangements are so completely over the top that, without a dry sound, the individual instruments just get lost in the mix. So as a rule of thumb I’m taking more of a documentary-style approach. I’m simply reporting on all the tracks that have already been recorded and trying to bring them out in the best light.

Man, but this slide guitar here sure sounds great with a bit more delay. And geez this lead vocal has so much more presence with a bit of echo. And these band-shifted radio signals sound much scarier..

Guy Pratt at the Sit Down Comedy Club

Just back from seeing Guy Pratt at the Sit Down Comedy Club in Brisbane.

Guy is of course a bit of a hero of mine, being the bloke who had the nerve to play slap bass over songs where Roger Waters previously hadn’t. And then twenty years later, Guy chose not to.

Seriously I love the energy of those precious few live performances of Echoes from 1987, and I still remember double-taking when I heard his solo on One Slip. And check out what he did with Any Colour You Like in 1994. That was a revelation.

Guy also makes it cool to like disco.

Anyway the show was hilarious (like his book) and the bass interludes were fantastic.

(On the minus side, it never ceases to amaze me how some people can spend good money on tickets, take a table right at the front of the stage, and proceed to talk to each other through the whole show!)

Guy was right decent enough to have his photo taken with this happy chappy from the front row, whom he reckoned didn’t look like Comic Book Guy. Which must be one of the nicest compliments I’ve received from anyone.

Guy Pratt

Live at Ric’s Bar last Monday

First up, I’m pleased to report there were no train wrecks.

Secondly, here are some fantastic photos taken on the night by Michelle Aziz. I’m sure you’ll agree the execution more than makes up for the photogenic limitations of the subject matter.

And thirdly, if that wasn’t enough to knock all of us to the ground and leave us panting for more, here’s a bona-fide bootleg-quality video of the first live performance of Golden Band, well, ever.

My name is Ben Craven and I write songs for 10-piece prog rock bands. Then I massacre them by playing them solo.

Setlist:
Great Divide
Enough About You
If You Knew
Captain Caper
Over
Not Me It’s You
Look Away
Ready To Lose The War (new song!)
Golden Band

Solo gig 20 July – Update

More on my gig at Ric’s Bar (Brunswick St Mall, Brisbane) next Monday night…

I’ll be stumbling out at 9:30pm, hopefully after the consumption of several confidence boosters.

Highlights-to-be include the live debut of Golden Band, the acoustic premiere of Not Me It’s You, and a sneak preview of a new song, Ready To Lose The War, from the upcoming album. As long as I finish the lyrics in time!

I’ll also be introducing my new second guitarist, Bruce. He plays exactly what I tell him:

Boss RC-20XL (Bruce!)

Solo gig on 20 July

Breaking news is that I’ll be playing a solo spot at Ric’s Bar (Fortitude Valley, Brisbane) on Monday the 20th of July, supporting my new best mates, Disnae Matter.

Which means now I finally have to figure out how to do justice to songs originally arranged for, inconveniently, five guitars, two keyboards, Chris Squire, a string orchestra, and a virtuoso triangle player. So Golden Band will either be delicately glorious in its intimacy, or a train wreck. Be sure you’re there when we all find out which!

Amy Correia

This is the future of the music industry.

There’s no immediate need for record companies. The fund raising doubles as the marketing campaign. And it’s targeted directly at the specific audience, ie. fans. Like me!

I realise Amy’s not the first person to do this. But I’m just delighted to see it working now for someone whose music I actually listen to!

Polish Review of Two False Idols

I’ve just come across this new translation of a Polish review of Two False Idols, courtesy of, ermm, Microsoft Translator.

I have been reliably informed that Artur Chachlowski’s original review is poetic, glowing, and a pleasure to read. There exists the outside possibility that this translation therefore is not entirely accurate, and might be considered for entertainment purposes only.

For instance, I am mildly concerned about the DTS surround version of the album being referred to as a “Frisbee”.

Update! [3 June 2009]

As commissioned by Gus, and performed by Kasia, here’s a real translation! Many thanks to the human beings involved!

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Twitter

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome me to the wonderful world of Twitter.

I’m @CravenBen, or if you don’t have an account just try:

http://www.twitter.com/CravenBen

I figure it will be an easier way of doing quick updates on the album as I’m recording it, while at the same time allowing even further levels of inanity.

For example, something like “I hope everyone else finds the hand claps I just put in the 10/8 song as funny as I did” hardly counts as a blog post now, does it.