noise for the hard of hearing

the next gig is coming up fast so pop a note to yourself on whatever social networking/notepad/sticky note/fridge magnet that you happen to use and don’t forget:

friday 19th april at zero. doors open 9pm. it’s FREE to get in so no excuses…

be there…you know you want to.

down under

loads of stuff has happened since i last wrote any nonsense here. i won’t bore you with details, dear reader (yep. down to one again) but suffice to say, it’s all turned better than expected. the big news this week is that our deranged delectable bass player is off to oz for a month. i hope he doesn’t get stolen from us by one of the fab bands that reside in the land down under 😉

have a fabulous trip, vishy. and come back to us full of stories and music and pictures. enjoy it for all of us. xxxxx

songs for gay dogs

yesterday, i was cruising around facebook, feeling very grumpy that everyone seems to be on holiday and decided to write a post today about how social media is ruining my life. however, this morning vishy showed me a link to “the most ridiculous album covers of all time” at the huffington post and it restored my faith in the internet’s ability to enrich our existence. the record cover above had me giggling like a five year old. so i thought i’d get creative and come up with the first 5 album titles for bad mathematics:

1: tits and souvlaki

this came out of a very productive and silly meeting with major tom at our house. on his way in he picked up one of those sad leaflets that get thrown at your door on a regular basis. it was for a local kebab place and featured a very well-endowed girl who seemed to be riding a giant souvlaki. a fantastic failure of everything that is design but inspiration for the muddled mind of a diva.

2: cassi and her communist sisters

this is a long-standing joke between the members of the band. people always pick out the frontperson and assume that everyone else is hanging about in the background for effect and don’t actually do anything creative. nothing could be further from the truth in the case of bad mathematics but it does make a great title.

3: f#@&! s*&@$!?*!go** ?ki***

over the years, in our endless battle with language, we have developed a kind of nonsense gringlish half-witted vocabulary which we all sort of understand, although andreas is the master. he has the ability to reel off a diatribe at break-neck speed and then turn round and ask us what the hell he just said. fantastic.

4: pornography

one of the most popular bad mathematic’s songs, thanks in part (i suspect) to the title. we have never been known to shy away from controversy even going as far as making most of it up. so what the hell, let’s go straight for the censors with this one.

5: bad mathematics greatest hits or the best of bad mathematics

i think we should release this one first so that we can win the “tackiest band you’ve never heard of” award. how brilliant would that be ?

vote for your favorite title or come up with some of your own in the comments. surely you have nothing better to do on this fine tuesday…

mountain of love

if you haven’t done so yet, go and join mountain of love on facebook. our mate piers marsh is feverishly working away in the studio and has posted a tasty teaser on the fan page.

there is something deeply wonderful about friends working on creative endeavours and being fuc*!ng good at it. it’s not about whether they get famous (or even any recognition) for doing it. it’s the fact that they have the guts to do it anyway. in this case though, i’m pretty sure that this album is going to be big and us fans of mountain of love can boast that we heard it first.

best of luck piers.

we’re with you all the way

tori amos – god

seeing as this is supposed to be a music blog, i’m posting some…. music!

go see it here

god, sometimes you just don’t come through
god, sometimes you just don’t come through
do you need a woman to look after you
god, sometimes you just don’t come through

i have a huge soft spot for tori amos. she’s talented, odd, unique and seriously underrated. all the stuff i like in an artist. she’s often categorised as “alternative” which means she’s consigned to the sidelines of the music machine but also means she’s free to do what the hell she likes.

when i dream of fame and fortune (which, of course, i have succeeded in achieving ;-)), i imagine being like ms. amos or bjork or pj harvey.

wild, wacky and wonderful.

chefs and musicians

not many of you will know this about me but i’m utterly addicted to celebrity cooking shows. i could watch hours of top chef, top chef masters, hells kitchen, the f word, no reservations, jamie’s kitchen, conviction kitchen, iron chef, kitchen nightmares… etc etc etc. i’ve even been known to watch rachael ray and emeril. i also follow quite a few celeb chefs on twitter.

now before you say “what a sad bugger”, let me attempt an explanation of my ever-growing fascination with chefs. what strikes me (and has been commented on many times) are the similarities between cooking and making music. Many top chefs admit to an obsession with music and quite a few dabble on the other side in their spare time. for example, hubert keller is a dj, rocco dispirito is an avid guitar player, jamie oliver is a half-decent drummer, johnny ciao worked in the music industry for 20 years before becoming a chef, ainsley harriot was a musician of sorts, marco pierre white looks and acts like a rock star and of course, jerome “chef” mcelroy (south park) is isaac hayes.

i am fascinated by the art of cooking. the creative process. the way each individual chef can take the same ingredients and come up with an entirely different result. i am fascinated by the fact that everyday, sometimes mundane, observations can influence a dish. food critics often take the joy and fun out of eating by talking about “flavour profiles” and “palettes”, in much the same way as music critics take the joy out of music by talking in pretentious terms.

so here’s my top 10 similarities between chefs and musicians

  1. we have to practice and often experiment on friends
  2. we put a bunch of known stuff (ingredients/notes) together in different ways to make something new
  3. we often get it wrong
  4. technique counts for a lot but passion makes the difference
  5. we tend to be egotistical, obsessed and are given to swearing a lot
  6. we love what we do even when no-one is watching
  7. fame can ruin us
  8. we care about presentation
  9. we both tend to over-indulge in the alcohol department
  10. we tend to be fairly vocal about fellow musicians/chefs that we dislike

if you can think of more, i’d love to hear them in the comments.

i don’t have much in the way of “knife skills” at the moment and most ingredients that i see being used on these shows are either hideously expensive or impossible to find in greece but who knows… perhaps i’ll become the diva cook if being in a band doesn’t work out.

right… off to watch iron chef

cadillac records

i watched cadillac records (2009) last night and was moved and inspired by its portrayal of the rise of chess records in chicago. the film centres on the transition from sharecropper music, “race music” and blues to cross-over and rock and roll. the reviews were mixed and many completely missed the point of the film. it’s not a documentary. it’s a film that paints a broad picture of that time in music history. it’s about segregation. about a time when black musicians changed the face of music and were unrecognised for it until, sometimes decades, later. about white artists/record industry folks taking or stealing that creativity and becoming rich and famous in the process.

the music is astounding. the studio scenes, where leonard chess changed the way the music was recorded, are incredible. the film captures the intense pain and suffering experienced by such greats as muddy waters, little walter, howlin’ wolf, etta james and chuck berry. how that pain translated into brilliance. how they didn’t just play the blues, they lived it. they were the blues.

the credit for the birth of rock and roll lies very firmly with these musicians and countless others (many that remain unknown). there will never be another time like this and it’s essential that we know about it. that the next generations know about it. it’s scary that young people have never heard of some of these artists and how ignorant they are of anything outside the mainstream charts.

you don’t have to like the blues but you have to know about it.
watch this film with your eyes on the bigger picture.
and your heart in the right place.

venue mistakes

i read yesterday that paul weller (he of the jam who i absolutely loved back in the day) played the royal albert hall. now i know it was mr weller’s show and not the jam and i actually like him on his own, but the royal albert hall? i know, i know, tons of famous bods (including hendrix, sting jay z and the kaiser chiefs have played there but i find it odd. for me the royal albert is for ballet and classical music and eric clapton. not for the bad boys and girls of rock and roll. call me old fashioned but i like my bands up close and dirty. i understand stadium rock even though i never go. i can’t see the point of paying hundreds of quid to go and see bands and only being able to see them on a big screen. yeah, yeah, it’s the atmosphere bla bla and there are so many fans that they wouldn’t fit in a normal rock venue. i get it.

but the royal albert hall? it’s sedate and polite and nice. all the things that music shouldn’t be. especially not for someone who used to be in the jam. i like my rock idols to stay on the edge, to remain rebellious. but sadly, they either go the way of bono and paul weller (and countless others) or they self-destruct by the age of 27.

i do take my hat off to bowie and the rolling stones who have managed to survive this gentrification of music and have stayed (in my opinion) as exciting as they always were.

ps: i have a particular hatred of the royal albert hall because of the last night of the proms. this is when the hooray henrys and henriettas, let the peasants into their inner sanctum to get pissed and sing land of hope and glory. gives me shivers just thinking about it.

pps: in mr weller’s defence, he did live stream the gig and bruce foxton joined him on stage for the first time in 28 years

the poet

as you know, we are a band of many talents (!*@$!) but you may not know that our own adorable and amazing guitarist, andreas, is a poet. in fact, his surreal poetry was the influence behind the song metal bear. you can read his two published collections at his own blog entegma (in greek). the first book is called καθισμενος and the second is επτάψυχη μεταλλική αρκούδα (choose from the drop-down menus under the titles).

there is talk of a third book and i am hoping that we can add this to the goodies that will be available to buy on the bad mathematics shopping site sometime in the future.

for now, hop over to the site and have a look around. for all you ancient greek history buffs, there are also articles about the underground bands that michalis and andreas were involved in before bad mathematics (παρανyχiδες and gobidibu).

dark and dangerous stuff.

major tom

we enjoyed our half-hour with major tom last night on athens international radio (monday-friday 10:30-11:00pm local time). he is doing more to promote local bands than all the management companies, record companies and general music wasters put together. if you want to get your stuff played, send a cd along with a telephone number to:

athens international radio
c/o major tom
odos pireos 100
technopolis, gazi
athens, 11854

or leave it with the security guards at any time of the day or night.

thanks tom.

funky rehearsals

we’re on the final countdown to the gig at afaneis (tuesday 20th april 2010). had a great rehearsal yesterday with our mate piers marsh (alabama 3). he’s made an amazing “dance your tits off” track out of one of our songs. you’ll have to come to the gig if you want to know what and how. we have also invited the stylianos tziritas trio to play the opening set. he’s a bit of a wild boy, so anything can happen.

all in all, it’s shaping up to be a pretty exciting evening and another completely one-off event for athens town.

be there.

you know you want to…

indie musicians win an oscar for best song

from stereogum

The Frames’ Glen Hansard and girlfriend, Once co-star, and singing partner Marketa Irglóva took home the gold, and their acceptance speech(es) provided a night highlight. Glen delivered some touching words, and a sour note in Oscar history was avoided when Jon Stewart brought Marketa back out, after commercial break, to make right the orchestra’s ill-timed acceptance speech exit music. She says some nice things about independent musicians.