Monday, April 30, 2007

DrGaz's Music: Lady With A Fag

This is a song I originally recorded on an 8-track with a mate, in December 2000. I have a version with vocals on it (which is much too embarrassing to share with you), but this the version without, and I have taken an excerpt from it and done a little experiment with it.

What I did was convert the original tape into MP3 format, and import the song into Garageband so that I could attempt to put some percussion and strings onto it to find out what it would sound like “beefed up”. I’ve even given an Eastenders style drum lead in! It came out OK as a test, let down mainly by 2 factors: the low quality of the original recording, and the fact that a metronome wasn’t used when it was recorded, meaning that the rhythmn is a bit all over the shop (I had loads of aggro manually synchronising the drums!

Anyway, use the two flash players below to hear the “before” and “after” versions.



I just love what it achievable with this kind of music composition software, and I am totally hooked. I came across it by accident – we bought this little Mac a few months ago and it just happened to have Garageband on it. Since then I justt can’t keep my hands off it. I must really get my guitar and a keyboard hooked up so I can do some “proper” music. I’ve had so many melodies and ideas running through my head for years, and this kind of software should help me finally realise them. It’s great to feel inspired about music again.

About this song – well, it was written by a good friend of mine a few years ago and in this recording he is playing acoustic guitar and I did the bass guitar and improvised a guitar solo. He originally did the singing and I did what could laughingly be refered to as backing vocals. Oh, yes - it’s extremely embarrasing – I exaggerate not.

But, what the hell. After all I will let you hear the version with vocals! Here it is in the player below. Please click the play button and I’ll slope off cringing.


The song didn’t originally have a title, but I call it “Lady With A Fag”. I adapted this from the words, which whilst listening to the song aren’t really that easy to figure out. Anyway, I’ll have a bash at transcribing them below:

You slowly sip your wine, and leave
And light your cigarette, relax, and then you smile
Every time I pass you raise your head and smile
There’s things I want to say and do right now

You forget yourself and come outside and shine
Or you ain’t got the time to complicate your mind
So I’ll just smile and wave and drive on by
And think of what it’s like to hold you tight tonight

Random stuff: Animusic

I came across this video by accident earlier. It's bloody amazing, quite frankly. I just couldn't resist putting it here! It's made by a comany called Animusic. a content creation and licensing company. They must be raking it in (and having lots of fun in the process). Some bloke on YouTube seems to have ripped all their videos, so you can see more of their stuff here.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Photo of the day: The Corridors of Doom

Self-storage seems to have been an unfortunate side-effect of changing addresses a couple of times in the last year.

Friday, April 20, 2007

DrGaz's Music: The Judoon Song

I used some samples of the Judoon speaking to compose a tune on Garageband. Here's a video I edited to go with it.

If you want to hear the music on its own, use the player below. It should be better quality than in the video. Use the link below to download the MP3 version (instructions at the bottom of the post).

It was great fun doing the music for this because the "Do Kro Blo Co" sample worked really well as a backing track. It also sounds pretty silly, which is what I wanted to achieve. The rest of the song is comprised of some drum-loops and I came up with some melodies derived from the Doctor Who theme.

INSTRUCTIONS TO DOWNLOAD MP3 FILE: Right-click on the "Download MP3" link above and click on "save link as". Any problems? Please email me (contact details on my profile)

Random stuff: Evil Maria.

This is the name of a great little song that I came across on a rather interesting little website that had been languishing in the backwaters of my bookmarks for months. The site is called grke, which is a shortened version of the name of site’s author, Graham Keeling. I somehow stumbled upon his site whilst browsing the forum on Outpost Gallifrey.

Anyway, about Evil Maria. It’s damn catchy - so catchy in fact that it’s been in my head for the last few days. Aaargh! People who can write songs like do that should be making megabucks! I have cheekily bounced “Evil Maria” over to this blog (using for your listening pleasure (use the player above). I hope this is OK, grke!

You have been warned - it's catchy!

The interesting thing about Evil Maria, is that it’s loosely based on the Sinclair ZX Spectrum game, “Jet Set Willy”, which is an astonishing coincidence as only just a week or two ago I was buggering around downloading Spectrum emulators and games over at There’s more to come on all that later...

Anway, all about Evil Maria (including the lyrics) here, and do check out – there’s some great tunes he’s written – fun and quirky (and damn catchy) stuff, and some other interesting things too.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Sketch of the day: Through the window.

No - I'm not actually banged up! This is just a quick scribble of the view through my window and I thought that adding some imaginary bars would compliment the grimness of the scene. Incidentally the council building outside is the worst building that I've ever seen in my life! Who designed it? How did it get of the drawing board?

Monday, April 09, 2007

Sketch of the day: The telly

This is just some nonsense I scribbled earlier for a laff (click to enlarge). It's the telly and some random stuff that was lying around (I really need to have a tidy-up). I thought I'd annotate the sketch in the hope that it might actually make some sense to anyone.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Sketch of the day: The Doctor and Martha

The Internet wasn't working so here's another DrGaz sketch of the day. This is the first time I've drawn anything Doctor Who related around 17 years! Strangely enough this momentous occasion has turned into bit of a piss-take with me doing characateurs of the Doctor and Martha. This sketch is actually a "DrGazzed" version of last Sunday Times's TV supplement (you can see the original in the pic below (click to enlarge).

I started this sketch last night at about 8pm and it took me around 6 or 7 hours to complete. I had to finish it off today. If it wasn't for my wife I would have been up all night finishing it off. These sketches can be so addictive.

I rarely attempt to draw human figures and generally prefer to stick with sketching inanimate objects. This is mainly due to my lack of confidence in drawing noses and lips (they are a sod to draw). That said, I'm rather pleased with how this sketch has come out, and I wouldn't mind trying to do some more similar sketches. I may even dare to have a bash at trying to learn some anatomical drawing in the future.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Photo of the day: On the way back from Grantchester.

Today we walked along the river from Cambridge to Grantchester. A very nice walk with beautiful weather. We ended up at The Orchard. A historic tea garden where Rupert Brooke used to hang out and chill with his mates. "Stands the church clock at ten-to-three And is there honey still for tea?" and all that mallarkey.

I snapped this as we were walking back to Cambridge (don't forget to click for biggerness). This is a path we walked down that had some postcard-perfect cottages which must cost some serious ££££££££££ to buy. I couldn't resist snapping a shot of a row of daffodils as we passed. Daffodils are quite simply the best flowers ever, showing their smiley yellow faces just at the very beginning of spring. I love 'em.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

DrGaz's Music: The iShoe Shuffle

We'll here it is! This is the latest DrGaz single, entitled "The iShoe Shuffle". Don't be deceived by the light 'n' fluffy song title - this is an intense one (I was in a right old strop when I did it).

It's another one of my Garageband attempts. I'm really stating to understand how to work the software, but I'm struggling a bit now because it really slows down because I'm trying to make the music complicated with extra tracks etc. I've been trying to make my tunes more interesting from a mixing point of view by setting pan/volume paths which should (hopefully) give more stereo depth (e.g. there's a funny bouncy bit in this this tune that pans very fast from left to right a number of times). All this really slows everything down to the point that whenever I try to overlay a new track, it's impossible to record it in real-time because when I hit a note on the keyboard, it sounds 5 seconds later. Aaargh! It's very frustrating. I need a faster computer!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

"The Judoon on the Moon in Wetherspoons" (Doctor Who Series 3 Launch Night Party).

Last night the new series of Doctor Who began, and I had the pleasure of attending the Launch Night Party in London!

Here's a few pictures I took (not particularly good ones, I'm afraid). You can also find some video footage that I edited together for this post (see below).

The event took place in "The Printworks" which is a JD Wetherspoon pub in Farringdon, London. It was a free event, kindly organised by Doctor Who guru and "official historian" Mr Jeremy Bentham. Basically, the event consisted of 400+ Doctor Who fans getting together in a big pub to watch the new episode on a big screen. It wasn't a convention, but there were a few "celebrities" in attendance: Nicholas Courtney, Waris Hussein (director of "An Unearthly Child"), Paul Cornell, and a bloke who plays monsters in the new series. Oh, and Stephen Moffatt was also there apparently, but I wouldn't have known if I saw him or Paul Cornell because I've no idea what they look like!

Anyway, here's the video...