Wednesday, 29 February 2012

the Libero - the Regal Drug (Volleyball)

the Libero is Scott Amore, owner operator of Inner Space Sound labs and keyboard player for the Butterflies of Love (more about them to follow)... the Regal Drug is haunting, lo-fi, atmospheric and pslightly-delic...


Holyoke, Massachusetts circa 1895, the birthplace of Volleyball.
Libero is an Italian word meaning "free".
When we played that game in school, we felt free.
I don't know why we loved the game so much, maybe it was a break from the rigors of school life?
or, bright gymnasium lights and bump-set-spikes.
yet, there was no Libero in said school age matches.

But now!

now this part should be read and/or sung aloud, as in stadium chant style.

The Libero - is a defensive specialist;
The Libero - Remains in the game at all times.

The Libero - is not limited by rules of rotation.
The Libero - replaces the middle blocker position

The Libero - never rotates to the front row himself.
The Libero - Is chosen by the team before the match

The Libero - remains the libero for the entire match
The Libero - Wears a different color jersey than the rest of the team

The Libero - fosters more digs and rallies
The Libero - makes the game more exciting.

The Libero - is a defensive specialist.

- the regal drug.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

MassiveAnneFrank - Transition (Triathlon)

MassiveAnneFrank is a triathlete and musician... both are mysteries to me, but for different reasons...

“The sun is up but we can barely call it morning. The lake is still and hides the pain its about to deliver. I lube my ankles and wrists in an attempted to squeeze into a wetsuit that seems 3 sizes too small. A fellow competitor joins in the game and battles with the back length zip. Breathing is hard now, the rubber squeezing the life out of your lungs. We stand on the pier and look into the dark glass mirror...

All is still…

The siren goes and we hit the water. The lake erupts like a cement mixer, arms and legs everywhere. No time for manners here. A kick. A punch. This is all part of the race. I push on trying to get into my stroke… 1,2,3 breath, 1,2,3,breath. My mind is already on the bike. I will myself through the water and the exit ramp is closing. Out of the lake and I pull the zip down my back and begin to take the wet suit from my shoulders and arms as I ran to transition. This is the heart of the race. Wins are made and losers fall. Transition. Wet Suit off and Bike shoes on. Helmet and glasses. On. I take my bike off the rack and run pushing it by the saddle to the transition exit. Over the line and jump on the saddle. I can see competitors in front of me and I quickly slip down onto my aero-bars and begin to up the revs. Head down only looking up to see if I’m closing. I pass one… another… My legs are burning and I have already forgot about the pain in my arms from the lake. 1 lap down……..three to go…..I push on. 1 mile becomes the next. I see the entrance to transition and dismount, running with my bike to the racks. I rack my bike and throw my helmet on the ground. Bike shoes off and trainers on. 2nd time through the exit of transition and this is the final push. My legs feel tired but the aching is different to before. I grab a drink from aid station, 2 sips and dash it to the side of the road. Its not far now. I stride on, left over right over left, my breathing is quickening now and I can see the finish clock. The seconds tick down….closer…closer.

I collapse over the line.”

Friday, 17 February 2012

Flotation Toy Warning - the Buoys Are Back In Town

Flotation Toy Warning returned from the Arctic in 2001to make beautiful and slightly skewed MELODY... their debut album, The Bluffer's Guide to the Flight Deck (2004), was full of twinkles, drops, gasps, wheezes, wooshes, parps, breaks, shuffles, swoons and TUNES... TONS of TUNES... so many in fact, it's not surprising it has taken 8 years to make the follow up, due this autumn... in the meantime MARVEL at their Canoe & Kayak song - the BUOYS ARE BACK IN TOWN:

Flotation Toy Warning - The Buoys Are Back In Town

'Canoeing and kayaking was introduced into the Olympics at some point and is about going fast in very thin rowing boats that go forwards instead of backwards, without sinking or anything. And both oars are on the same stick.
None of us have actually ever been canoeing, although some of us did touch a  canoe once, and gave it a quick sniff when we thought no-one was looking.
In the weeks prior to writing this tune we whiled away many hours sat in the bath with buckets on our heads, whilst holding a broom handle with both hands.
It really enabled us to get into the mindset of the canoeist, as is unmistakably evident from the swirling, frothy tones of 'The Buoys Are Back In Town'.
Can you see what we did there? Great.

Monday, 6 February 2012

DJ Downfall - Shoot It Shoot It (Hit Me Again)

DJ Downfall has been on the label for 15 years now, made two great albums, and has been working on the third since 2007 (next time you see him remind him to finish it off would you?)... one of the reasons it's taking so long is that last year he took up archery (so he knows what he's talking about)... despite what he says, don't hit him again...

"I shoot. I try and shoot every morning in my house.

I have a stack of foam a metre on each side, known as a boss, which sits outside in the yard and gets rained on. Every morning that I can I drag it inside, put it by my living room wall, and attach a target face with pins; sometimes the familiar ten-ring FITA targets with a gold and an X-ring in the centre; sometimes an offset trio of small targets known as a Vegas three-spot. I usually leave the bow assembled in the cellar, ready and taut and sighted. I attach the long rod, a stick with weights on the end intended to bring the centre of gravity forward and reduce the torque that can come from the hand.

My bow is partly made from wood, but it's mostly made from drop forged aluminium alloy, high impact plastics, Dacron, steel, magnets, carbon and composites and God knows what else. It measures sixty-eight inches from beautiful curving tip to beautiful curving tip. The recurve of the limbs (the parts that bend and store the power) is the graceful genius of man expressed in elegant modern form. To deliver energy as efficiently as possible, to focus the power of the slow arm onto a fast single point. A bow is an expression of what it is to be human; not the fastest, not with terrible teeth or claws or poison to hunt and defend, but with a big brain and opposable thumbs and imagination. What I have in my hand is the culmination of what happened when some hungry Paleolithic man pulled on a sapling tree, watched it snap back fast, and wondered.

Taking all this into account, I stand in my kitchen with my feet side on to the hallway. I pick up one of my arrows, twenty inches of tungsten, aluminium and plastic rather than flint, wood and feathers. The notch at the back, known as a nock, clicks gently onto the string as the shaft sits on a tiny steel rest. I raise the bow, letting the handle push into the webbing of my relaxed left hand, and grip the string with three fingers of my right hand, covered with a leather tab. I swing up and let the sight settle, and start the draw, trying to control; to use my back. At full draw, nineteen and a half inches, there is about twenty eight pounds of weight on my fingers. The longbows they recovered from the Mary Rose had draw weights varying between ninety and one hundred and eighty pounds in weight.

I anchor underneath my chin, pushing the string onto the tip of my nose. Find the gold. The release should be just that. Loose. Let go. Relax. Do nothing. My bow will propel an arrow at around one hundred and seventy feet per second, the huge recurves they use in the Olympics for the 70m distance will do nearly double that. In about one-sixth of a second, the arrow leaves the rest, bending and fishtailing with the excess energy and strikes the target eight and a half metres away. I repeat, and repeat, exploring my concentration, the connection between my mind and my muscles and this beautiful technology, the human spirit: condensed, graceful, lethal.

Anyway, never mind all that. This is a love song"

written, performed and produced by DJ Downfall