Metallica’s Mama Said & Joy Division’s She’s Lost Control drum backing tracks

First off: Happy incoming ’08. I hope you have a good one!

With old acquaintance needing to be forgot, I’ve been doing a little disk tidying and found a pair of files that could be small gifts for guitarists, bassists or singers into Metallica or Joy Division.

Acoustic drumming is what I learnt first and then a little later I dabbled in software drum machine programming (and I mean truly as in point and clicking rather than keyboard performance) before other instruments.

When I learnt bass a good number of years ago now, one of the bands I played along to was Joy Division because of standing out, high register bass lines. But to make things a little fun, I carefully took the time to program the entire drum part in a now free drum machine (and bass line, but obviously I didn’t program that) emulator called ReBirth, to play along to. I used the default ‘mod’ sound set.
I have no use for this any more, so if any of you would like this backing track (and I post this not in order to peeve off JD-NO affiliates, I would take this down immediately if this is the case) to sing and/or play along to here, you go…below. You’ll need Pando software, and the files probably expire 90 days from this post. So don’t waste time!

Later on, I programmed (again, point and clicked, so I didn’t get much velocity or off 4/4 nuances) the other simple drums for Metallica’s Mama Said for a friend to play along to it. He actually didn’t bother using it at all, so it’d be nice if someone used it. This one was programmed in Orion using an acoustic kit sound, whereas SLC is more robotic sounding.Unlike SLC which is largely accurate bar the opening champagne cork sound, there are closed hi-hats filling in guiding silences, and rim shots indicate either count in or lulls where there is no singing or playing…You’ll get it if you’re a fan.

I made these things years ago, so I can’t remember if they’re exactly perfect to studio recordings, but I’m sure they mostly are.

These are just 128k mp3s to be standard decent quality files. I wouldn’t bother listening to these unless you plan to use them as these are simple backing tracks that are boring alone. I’d have added them directly to my blog but can’t do so due to restrictions.

27 September 2009 update: I’ve noticed this page has been getting a lot of hits and has disappointed visitors because of the expired Pando package. So here are the two mp3s individually (right/control click to save): Mama Said drums | She’s Lost Control drums.
Please let me know if you like them.

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My Search Funds

It wouldn’t be Xmas without someone trying to sell you something would it?I admit this is a demo and I’m your salesman, but don’t run away it – this could benefit you too.

If you’re like me you probably surf the net. regularly (but refuse to join a social networking site) and when venturing outside of your bookmarks and advertised URLs, you’ll do a search, and it’s likely you use Google unless you have a football-team-obsession with a competitor.

One post Yahoo!/Altavista (I remember when the latter was brilliant!) search engine I’ll give kudos to is Ask (formerly Ask Jeeves). As far as I’m aware, Ask were the first to allow you to type in questions than just keywords to get answers. Since then, the plain white, mighty Google has become king.
Recently Ask have updated themselves to look more snazzy, hip and relevant. For instance, a recent UK TV ad campaign alerted me to interesting devices like showing me previews of pictures and videos on the same page or other related terms to a search term. Although what marred this is that despite comparative top end results, Google still displayed the best next terms.

So, how to get more visitors to Ask? Get paid, maybe? If you sign up to My Search Funds (please do use that link, if you do, it’s a referral address) you can add a personalised Ask search entry to the latest IE and Firefox browsers, as well as have a search page you can designate as home to, so that you can see if your searches yield good results via Ask. And for trying you get money. Based on average, the company suggests you can make £50 a year. Sure it’s not loads of money, but about £4 a month for search could help shave off some of your ISP bill if nothing else.

I’ve only been on it for a few weeks, so haven’t be able to cash in yet (needs 30 days accumulation), but so far I’ve done 50 searches and made 60p, with more pennies pending. You can give bank or PayPal details, and just to be safe I’ve done the latter for now. You don’t even have to get details of each at signup, you just do it when you want.

I’ll likely add to this post after my first pay, but otherwise I see no reason not to try it.

To the old No. 43

This post will be of no interest to 99.9% of the world and that .1% mightn’t even get to see this message – but to our old neighbours, the Ashens (one name and number is no privacy killing broadcast), thank you for the unexpected greeting card. It’s good to have heard from you and we hope that you’re doing well. I’m guessing the lack of return address was maybe a courtesy thing as to not insist a card back, but we would’ve loved to have sent one.
In any case, whether you ever see this or not: Merry Christmas and Happy 2008 (and all future years). It was great to have known you, and of course Pat.

Morrissey vs. NME

As with Iggy Pop (whose innocent gaffe I blogged about), I’m not a big Morrissey fan, but again I think I can spill some words for this topic.

I’m not fully familiar with Morrissey’s work or his personal beliefs, but for the NME to criticise him of being racist isn’t dissimilar to the Jewish reporter who bleated Mayor Ken Livingstone was antisemitic, while writing for a paper with an antisemitic past (and still present in some covered instances).

The problem seems to be that Morrissey’s ambiguous language either in the press or in his art can be used either to impale or defend him. Someone who yearns for ye old England can be accused of pining and whining about the past, but that’s about it. Someone who writes about a National Front Disco…is also probably just having a laugh.

Back to the NME. Since when has the NME ever been about anything, other than largely, white rock bands with guitars, playing the same kinds of music since the 60s? You’ll get the odd token hip hop act (deemed as representative of the entire black music scene) and the odd girl and maybe a slight mention of music outside the western sphere, but that’s it. The NME condones racism in it’s promotion of barely acknowledging anything other than young white rock bands. There’s nothing wrong with young white rock bands – I like a good wad – but there’s more to talk about than them and their ‘newsworthy’ nights getting pissed, stoned, arrested, near death and rehab.

Therefore, if Morrissey is racist, the NME are certainly not the magazine to be crying wolf.