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Howard

[ website | Down With Freedom - my cartoons, music and stuff ]
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Collaborative EP [May. 2nd, 2013|07:45 am]
Howard
[Tags|, ]
[Current Location |Castle Croydonstein]
[Current Mood |tiredtired]
[Current Music |God Destruction - In Nomine Dei Nostri Satanas | Powered by Last.fm]

Fans of Non-Bio's more experimental output will be pleased to know that we've recently teamed up with Tooth Kink (who we met at our Scream Lounge gig earlier in the year), DPRSSN and Matthew Anderson to create this two track EP (they're fairly long tracks).







You can download it from here:

Track 1: The Perfect example of Resurrection Failure

Track 2: Monotropic Societies




Enjoy!
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The end of the disc? [Apr. 29th, 2013|01:31 pm]
Howard
[Tags|]
[Current Location |work]
[Current Mood |contemplativecontemplative]

A lot of people have recently been telling me to buy the new Depeche Mode album. This is the sort of thing I'd likely buy anyway, but apparently the new album is really good so I decided to spend a few extra pounds on the deluxe edition which apparently has extra bonus tracks and stuff.

Except I've not purchased it (or heard it) yet because I can't get to anywhere which physically sells compact discs any more! There were two HMV stores near to my home and my office until very recently, but the recession and changing social/technological trends have recently put an end to that. I tried the (big) Croydon branch of WH Smith's on Friday evening, as I was pretty sure they still stock CDs, but their selection consisted of a couple of dozen titles from the 90s and crappy compilations with titles like 20 Christmas Office Party Hits. All of which were on special offer, presumably because they're phazing out their music section and these are the last dregs they've not been able to shift.

I'm not against downloading music. Not at all - I'm constantly getting indivual tracks that way to fill up gaps in my collection and maintain a reasonable state of readiness to DJ - assuming I can find another gig somewhere anyway, it's been a while now! But if it's a whole album I want, and if it's a band I particularly like, then I'd still prefer to go through the ritual of buying it on CD, taking the celophane wrapper off, getting annoyed because the jewel case has sustained superficial damage somehow and has small nodules of broken plastic rattling around inside, admiring the cover and inlay art, playing it a couple of times on my stereo... before then ripping the tracks as MP3s, shoving it in a metal flight case with all the others and then probably never looking at it again in its physical form. I went through this rite of passage with all the musical discoveries of my life up until now, starting at the (now long-defunct) Croydon Virgin Megastore. My parents gave me - during that particular bit of my life - £10 pocket money per week and I'd blow slightly more than that sum occasionally on something that I'd read about in Kerrang!, the more obscure the better, then walk out of the shop with it in a little miniature shopping bag, feeling worried that I'd wasted money on something I might not like after all. Hell, some of the older CDs in my collection have considerable scratching and the inlays are noticeably dog-eared from being played on my stereo a lot before I started converting all the songs to MP3s around ten years ago.

It's strange that, since I started my own bands and have been tryign to 'put out' my own music, almost everyone has shown a preference for wanting it on CD rather than downloading it. It feels more exciting for me to release music on a physical unit, even though the manufacturing costs are a pain and I know I'll almost certainly make a loss from getting a batch made. But when I start handing promo copies around at festivals people's eyes light up**. Trying to get tipsy people to remember a long website address looks pretty underwhelming, and sometimes borders on creepy when I have to find pens and scraps of paper to insist on writing it down for them.

I used to love Resurrection Records on Camden High Street. I didn't always have something in mind to buy from there, and I often didn't buy stuff, but I couldn't walk past the place without quickly calling in to see what they had. And feelign clever because it was obscure stuff which I knew about. That sadly disappeared last year (although I think it lives on as a mail order company). I could go off on a tangent rant here about the slow but steady gentrification of camden town, but let's not.

Physical music probbaly won't go away entirely, at least as far as I can currently foresee. While first-hand record shops may have now upped sticks and abandoned my home town, there are still two second-hand shops within walking distance of my house and that feels oddly comforting, even if it doesn't help me obtain the brand new DM release. People still seem to go mad for collecting music on vinyl and a lot of them - I suspect - actually get these shocking dinner plate-sized plastic lumps off the shelf and play them with a damned needle. When my grandmother passed away last year I donated her battered old LP collection to a charity shop - it contained titles by Des O'Connor and Max Bygraves and the like - although I did make a home for her turntable in my 'study'. I intended to finally start my own vinyl collection because I thought it would be cool, although I promised myself I'd only buy titles I'd actually feel proud to own. It's still sitting there gathering dust in the corner and hasn't been switched on once. I've wandered around the record stalls at Spittalfields market a couple of times on my lunch breaks, admiring old LPs by Kraftwerk, Black Sabbath and Gary Numan, then hurriedly backing away when I catch a glimps fo the price. Who am I kidding? I probably have most of those tracks on my hard drive anyway and I'm not paying all that just for some engraved plastic which I'll never get the time to sit down and play. I don't have lazy evenings where I can sit around payign rapt attention to old albums over whisky and cigars while nobody walks in and bothers me. It would be lovely to live like that, but not in this lifetime. I can scarecly cram in two listening to two tracks on my headphones each morning while I'm riding on the train and even that's rarely a pleasurable experience thanks to other commuter's elbows and trying to listen to the driver's announcements.

In conclusion then: the most likely culprit for killing physical recording media is people just like me. I'll go and shoot myself now.



* I could order the CD from Amazon I suppose, but this seems a bit pointless when I could buy it from the same website as a download and have it in seconds instead of days. And sending compact discs through the post - see my comment above about damaged jewel cases!!

** Usually people who've not yet experienced my music.
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Resistanz [Apr. 3rd, 2013|10:24 am]
Howard
[Tags|, , ]
[Current Music |Terrorkode - Die Party ist Vorbei]

Well that was quite an easter weekend! I've taken yesterday and today off work so that I can catch up on studying, so I'm quite busy right now. Suffice to say however that I documented my trip away!

Musical highlights for me were Phosgore, Terrolololokaust, Aesthetic Perfection, iVardensphere, BlackOpz and Method Cell. But it was all pretty amazing!

Media behind hereCollapse )

Now on with some work...
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The Game EP [Mar. 9th, 2013|09:23 am]
Howard
[Tags|]
[Current Location |Castle Croydonstein]
[Current Mood |triumphant]

Non-Bio's new release is now available as a download or limited edition CD!



Get it here




http://non-bio.bandcamp.com/album/the-game




The download is free, although donations can be made by clicking through the link onto the Bandcamp page (and are gratefully received!)

If you click through onto the page there are also ordering details for the CD (£3.50 + postage and packing)







And of course, don't forget that music video!

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Gig # 2 [Jan. 7th, 2013|07:42 am]
Howard
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[Current Location |Castle Croydonstein]
[Current Mood |accomplishedaccomplished]

I think the Scream Lounge gig generally surpassed the first one. This is primarily because we'd had more time to get comfortable with the material and (in my case) overcome initial nerves and also because - being on my home turf - we were able to pull in a bit more of a local crowd.



Marta kindly recorded four of our six songs:




Megacube





Illuminati





Medicinema





The Game





I did get film of the other bands too (Dominic Hemy, Gimnastic, Daniel Vincent and MOX Salnikov) but I think this post's getting a bit cluttered now with video panels - you can see the full collection here on my Youtube channel. And of course I should mention that the whole event was an album launch party in honour of Daniel Vincent's new release The Enemy Game - full details of that here - it's very good.



So yeah, a very successful night, and I DJed for an hour after after the bands had all finished.
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Poor attempt at an End of Year roundup [Dec. 31st, 2012|07:50 am]
Howard
[Tags|, ]
[Current Music |Vision Talk - Everyone Is Happy (Christmas Song) | Powered by Last.fm]

I've been exceptionally busy in 2012. And too many people close to me died. But it had good bits too, like seeing Zachary take his first steps and say his first words, some nice family holidays and various achievements with my own projects. I will try and write about it in a bit more detail some time in January.

Here's Zach wearing a tea towel at Christmas:



My one year visual effects course at Escape Studios starts on the 14th January.

Reptile tonight for New Year's Eve festivities. I hope you all have a great one!
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Whine Meal episode 6 [Dec. 19th, 2012|07:22 am]
Howard
[Tags|]
[Current Location |Castle Croydonstein]
[Current Mood |tiredtired]

So finally here is Whine Meal 6



Click here
to watch it on my website

You can of course also watch it on Newgrounds and on Youtube



Notes about this episode:

  • Please be warned that (being a Christmassy episode) this contains a bit more violence and nudity than previous Whine Meals.
  • Originally scheduled for a Christmas 2010 release, this cartoon was held up once by burglars stealing my computer and then again by an infant-related laptop breakage in 2011.
  • Further to the incidents above – and on a considerably more tragic note – my friend Laura ‘Ruby’ had for a long time wanted to do a voice cameo on one of my cartoons. She played a ‘walk-on’ part in this episode but died earlier this year without seeing it completed. The episode is dedicated to her memory.
  • This is likely to be the final episode of Whine Meal. I made episode 1 four years ago and I’m delighted that it’s continued for six episodes (or seven if you count the 2010 April Fool’s joke) but much has changed in those four years; not only in my personal life but also in the wider world. Due to pressure from Apple and the rapid encroachment of HTML5, Flash is a dying format and therefore animations of this kind are dwindling in popularity. I’m not planning to jump ship entirely – at least not yet – but I feel my time could be better spent now expanding into other animation techniques, particularly 3D ones. Itchimus and Lionel might return, but then again they might not. I really can’t say!
  • *spoiler alert!*The version I uploaded to Newgrounds has been slightly re-edited; this is in response to the recent school shootings in Connecticut. Newgrounds is a primarily American website and I didn’t want viewers to think the final scene of my cartoon might be poking fun at a real-life incident. The original edit can be seen on Youtube or my website.
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Non-Bio stuff [Nov. 29th, 2012|12:36 pm]
Howard
[Tags|, ]
[Current Location |work]
[Current Mood |busybusy]
[Current Music |Loading...]

I should at this point mention that
  1. Non-Bio has another gig coming up on the 5th January; we are playing at the launch party for Daniel Vincent's new album at the Scream Lounge in Croydon. Facebook event page here.
  2. Non-Bio now has a new official blog, which is located here: http://non-biomusic.blogspot.com/
    I previously kept a blog on the Non-Bio Myspace page for more than two years, but I recently noticed I'm the only person on Earth still using that site so I moved the entries somewhere more visible. This way I can also hopefully not clog up the Livejournal feed with quite so many band-related posts now!
  3. Non-Bio has official merchandise! You can peruse it here. Get your orders in now for a... perfect Christmas present. For someone who likes Non-Bio.
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Birthdaze [Nov. 26th, 2012|12:56 pm]
Howard
[Tags|, , , , ]
[Current Location |work]
[Current Mood |tiredtired]

Our house is no longer being used as a film set! This is kind of a relief, as it's good to have some sort of routine established again which doesn't involve being quiet, or avoiding certain rooms, or keeping Zach quiet, or accomodating piles of other people's belongings or equipment. But I also miss the fun and excitement.

Anyway, this weekend then was concerned not with my home being invaded but with other people having birthdays. I have lots of photographs to support these stories, but all of them are still on the camera and need to be sorted through and uploaded. So you'll just have to use your imaginations...

Friday - Mike E and Risk
I marked three birthdays in one weekend. On Friday I visited Mike E, who I see infrequently because he's now a First Officer with a Hungarian airline and spends most of his time travelling between the UK and Poland. But anyway, it was his birthday and he was back at his normal home for a few days, so he had a few old friends over and we played a couple of games of Risk.

Saturday - my Dad and being a film extra
On Saturday we visited my parents, on acccount of it being my father's birthday. A garden centre nearby was staging a weekend Christmas event (despite all the rain) and we took Zachary to see the huskies and reindeer and other seasonal things, before all sitting down for a meal at parents' house. Zachary was quiet through most of the meal, as he now has an insatiable interest in trains and we put a Thomas The Tank Engine movie on to keep him absorbed.

In the evening I took the tube up to Park Royal where Marius and his film buddies had 'borrowed' a Chinese restaurant between 10pm and 6am and re-dressed it as a pub for some additional non-house-based movie scenes. I played an extra in this scene, along with Karl and his friend Danni; as I suspected this mostly involved a lot of sitting around and waiting but I'm glad my face is now (I hope) in the movie somewhere, besides the place where I live getting most of the camera time!

Sunday - Aly, swimming and art
Yesterday I was dragged out of bed after a dissapointingly short nap to go and swim at an outdoor pool in Hackney for vampyresheep's birthday outing. I've never swam at an outdoor pool in this country before and wouldn't really have planned on doing so in November but it was surprisingly good fun and I was amazed at how crowded the pool was for such a chilly day. Zach enjoyed it too - he always enjoys swimming - but I took him out early as I was a bit worried about him getting a chill. Afterwards we shared some mulled wine at a nearby pub with Rob, Mel and morbidfrog then went in search of an art exhibition in London Fields called Modern Panic III. I've not been to an art show in ages - it's difficult to do that when you have a small child in tow - but luckily Zach crashed out asleep after all his exertions in the swimming pool and we were able to wander around the gallery untroubled. It was brilliant! I confess I'd not heard of any of the artists but it was all very dark and surreal stuff, right up my street. We finished off the day with a meal at a Brazilian restaurant a few doors down the road.
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It all comes out in the wash [Nov. 20th, 2012|12:51 pm]
Howard
[Tags|, , , , ]
[Current Location |work]
[Current Mood |excitedexcited]

On Saturday 17th at Esquires, Bedford Non-Bio finally put on a live show. It was the first time in five years that I'd stood on-stage as part of a band and the first time ever that I'd fronted a band or played my own material.



more pictures and video behind cutCollapse )
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