Gye Greene's Thoughts

Gye Greene's Thoughts (w/ apologies to The Smithereens and their similarly-titled album!)

Friday, August 31, 2007

Consolidation of links to my mp3 demos

Four songs. The links below go to some of Tall Guy's old blog entries, which in turn link to the mp3 files. Please let me know (via my comments section) if the links aren't working.

Also, I may be posting three additional (more recent) mp3s on my Guitar Cousin's web page. If so, I'll link to it from here.

For now, though...

"Psych Smile" -- kind of a musical haiku; short & simple

"All I Want" -- short, quick, catchy, rough; a touch of new wave?

"Bewitched" -- a cover song, but I slowed it down to make it a little
heavier; the original is pretty much this simple, but I was playing
with different basslines (the original has no bass, just drums, vocs,

"Talking to Myself" -- probably my most radio-friendly piece

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I have a 3yo daughter

Well -- I am officially the father of a three-year-old girl. Pretty groovy!

Among other things, we gave her one of those little kid drum kits: kick drum with a crummy plastic kick pedal, two toms that hang from the front of the kick drum, and a funny little sizzle cymbal mounted on a little black plastic rod that sticks up from the kick drum. Oh: and a little black plastic drum stool.

She **loves** it!!!! Several times a day, now, she sits at it and goes ''bang, bang, bang, bang, bang'' in pretty good 4/4 time, while singing ''La la la la la la la la la" (or something similar to that). She varies which drum she's hitting, which is a good sign. And she's generally using both hands at once, in unison. I see a **little** experimentation with hitting the rims of the drums, rather than the skins -- but maybe that's just wishful thinking.

So: maybe I'll have me a drummer, after all. :)


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Geek humor

''It's not a bug...''

Love it! :) (No "VW pun" intended by saying that I "love" it.)

Thanks to Frank!

Photo from


Monday, August 27, 2007

My Band Manifesto

On a bit of a whim -- and even though I can't actually start auditioning people or jamming with them until I submit my ''good'' draft of my Dissertation -- I'm starting to reply to people's online band ads.

Musical influences (depends on the song!): Material Issue, Smithereens, Devo, Buddy, Holly, Dan Bern, Jill Sobule, They Might Be Giants, Beat Happening, Ramones, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

Sounds vaguely like (depends on the song!): Gye Greene & Tall Guy, Beat Happening, Iggy Pop and the Stooges, Violent Femmes (e.g. ''Blister in the Sun'').

Here's what I'm looking for in a band:

I'm 38yo, with a wife and child, so the amount of time I can devote to a band is different than when I was 22... So, I'm thinking getting together once or twice a week -- hopefully twice.

I'm looking to start up a band that's a musical co-operative: everyone is free to contribute songs, and everyone else "supports" the songwriter's song, so that it can be played live. For this to work, everyone would have to enjoy each other's musical styles: they wouldn't have to be identical, just compatible.

Not everyone **has** to contribute songs: if the bassist (or whoever) is happy to come up with basslines for everyone else's songs, then that's great. But if she/he ever **does** come up with a song, then of course she/he can present it to the group.

And, of course, some songs might occur from jams or random inspiration. But -- at least the way I work -- most songs would be mostly worked out by the songwriter when she or he presents it to the group.

In some instances, the songwriter will just the basic structure and the lyrics. In these instances, the bassist gets to come up with a bassline, the drummer comes up with a drum part, etc. Naturally, the songwriter gets veto power over the proposed pieces, if it doesn't suit the intended vibe.

But, in other instances, the songwriter will come in and say ''Sorry, but I have a pretty strong notion of all the parts. I want the bassline like THIS, the lead guitar like THIS, drums like THIS..." In this case, the rest of the band will basically be the ''hired hands'', the studio slaves, the drones. But it doesn't matter, because everyone is willing to do this for everyone else. And of course, they're always free to suggest alternatives -- which the songwriter may take on board, or may knock back. (Hopefully, she/he will at least give it a try, to SEE whether it's an improvement or not.)

I'm expecting that most folks will want to sing lead on their own song. Because of this, it would be awkward for a band member to be only a vocalist/singer, with no other instrument. This doesn't mean that I expect someone with an amazing voice to also be a virtuoso guitarist (or what-not). But just willing to learn, and have a decent amount of physical coordination and timing.

Bonus points if people are multi-instrumentalists. Again, they don't have to be virtuosos -- not even on their ''primary'' instrument -- but it's be nice if they were willing to step over to another instrument on occasion. Four reasons: 1) Because I'd probably be ''the bassist'', but some of the songs I write I can only sing while playing rhythm guitar -- so someone else would have to play bass. 2) It livens things up a bit if people sometimes play other instruments on songs, as everyone has their own approach to an instrument (and the riffs they come up with). 3) I'd get bored only playing bass: I'd like to play other instruments once in a while. 4) Sometimes the live performance of a song can benefit with the singer not being encumbered with also playing an instrument; so, if the guitarist (or bassist, or whoever), wants really get into the performance aspect of the song, it would be good if someone else could pick up their instrumental part.

Skill level: I'm totally open to beginners -- and actually, am a little wary of people with massive amounts of technical skills, as there's a tendency to ''overplay''. The styles of music I tend to enjoy -- and the music I write -- tends towards simplicity (but originality). So, I'd rather have someone who's only been playing a year or two, but has a great sense of phrasing and rhythm and timing and coming up with catchy riffs. Shreddage will come later (if that's what you really want).

Number of people: I'm thinking four or five. More than that and you end up with the awkward situation of trying to find an instrumental role for each person, or they end up bored. You also start getting in to ''coordination costs'' -- e.g. finding two available nights a week within four people's schedules is easier than for seven.

Regarding career trajectory: Pragmatically, no world domination. Instead, we'll aim for being a very well respected local (Brisbane-area) band -- some short hops to Ipswitch, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, etc. Maybe some regional tours, etc.

But due to family and ''day job'' commitments, I'm thinking to primarily go through a web presence, online sales of mp3s and albums (and merchandise), and local gigs. If we're lucky enough to get insane amounts of airplay, our indie label sells our album off to a mega-label, etc. -- o.k., **then** I'd consider taking a leave of absence off work. But at this point, no touring far-and-wide to build up a fan base.

I'd like to make money off this -- although I'm not expecting billions. But a few hundred per bandmember, through album sales, mp3 sales, and merchandise.

No drug users or drunks, please.

Nice people preferred. Wry-ness is fine, but I've found that being around people that are constantly negative and cynical is a drag.

I don't mind politics in the occasional song, but I'd prefer to avoid the cussin' and such: I think there are clever-er ways to make a strong point.

That's probably enough for now. :)


Sunday, August 26, 2007

Possible cuss word

I tend to use the webmail option, rather than Outlook or other dedicated e-mail readers, for my work e-mail.

Yesterday I was on the page where you choose from a list of folders to choose to where you want to save your message. And the top of the webpage said: MOVE FOLDER PICKER.

And I thought, "EXCUSE me???" Because "Move, ya folder picker" sounds fairly rude. And I'm still getting over a cold, so some things are a bit of a fuzz. But then I realized it was "Move folder, picker".


But I suppose it would be a good irritable thing to say if you work in an office environment, to someone who does filing. Not polite -- but certainly original.

Folder picker.


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Faded former glories

(...which would make a good song title for a Bryan Adams or John [Cougar, dangit!!!] Mellencamp -like song.)

When I got home from work yesterday, there was a small package waiting for me from my Guitar Cousin. It was some CD-Rs for me to "archive" for him (i.e. backup copies to be kept off-site from his house; yea, on a whole 'nother continent), two CD-Rs of some mp3 files of misc. songs of mine he'd found on his hard drive, and a remastered version of our ''Quiet Storm'' album that he, I, and my old roommate/drummer ''Crash'' Adams had self-recorded.

Looked forward to listening to it last night, but what with looking after and feeding the kid, some laundry, and talking to my folks (they're visiting from Seattle), I didn't get a chance. So, today at work.

I wonder how many folks who were in bands in their teens and 20s are like former high school and college athletes -- reflecting back on their past days of glory, and saying, "Yeah, we could've made it big, but..." (or, "Yeah, I could've played pro ball, but...").

And, I wonder if that's me?

Could be.

But I've been noticing that it's not until 9:15pm or so that I'm free from dinner, laundry, and watching the kid. Currently, that time is used for catching up with work stuff (since all of last week was basically nuked as far as nine-to-five productivity); next week, I'll likely resume Dissertation progress.

But even when I finish the Dissertation -- when the twins come in December, and we're all sleep-deprived, when am I going to actually record anything? Nine o'clock at night isn't a good tiime to start micing up guitar amps.

On the other hand: maybe a few hours here and there on the weekend. Back when I was actively recording, I found that assuming I had the musical arrangement all worked out (chords, melody lines, what instrument plays what), I could completely record and mix a song in almost exactly eight hours. So, just two or three hours a weekend -- that's a song a month. That's something. :)


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Still kinda sick

Man, this cold is hanging on! I'm used to a cold lasting maybe four days, and a flu lasting a week. I just checked my planner, and this this is lasting slightly more than a week already (counting from the first scratchiness in my throat).

Today I had a bit of a relapse, with energy levels more like 92%. And I was a wee bit grumpy, due to the rainy, blowy weather we've been having. Usually I **like** this type of weather -- but having a cold takes the shine off it.

And I had stuff I had to get done for work, so I couldn't just curl up and pamper myself: I had to soldier on. Bleh.

Ah well.

And, I **have** been worse.


Friday, August 17, 2007

Less sick, excellent moving progress

Two items of note. One is that I'm at the tail end of my cold (I hope!). My energy levels are about 85% of normal.

The other is that BrotherDave, my next door brother in law, very kindly volunteered to help me move boxes across from our old place. We did three loads together (with me driving, pulling a borrowed trailer), and then when I had to stop to put The Girl down for her nap, he kept going via a handtruck. In fact he, with some help from my father in law, managed to finish emptying out the old house. Amazing!!!

Unfortunately, I now have a front porch **completely** filled with boxes, an ironing board, and etc. Makes me a bit nervous, since it potentially looks like steal-able stuff from the road, even though it's mostly kids' books, photocopied academic journal articles, and the like. Hopefully I'll be able to knock it off tomorrow. (Unfortunately, I can't bring it directly inside, as the stuff **still** needs a once-over with a vacuum, since it has road grit all over it due to the old house's proximity to a rural road.)

Anyhow: 85% normal. (Health, at least.)


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Sick and stymied

Well, the good thing about being sick is that you **really** appreciate being ''normal'' -- your pep, your energy, your lack of sluggishness.

The Girl came down with something. A day or so later The Lady caught it, and I followed up a day or so after that. At this point, The Girl is back to normal, so she's racing around the house joyfully full of beans as her parents are dragging their sorry bodies after her, trying to keep her in check.

Not that being sick ever comes at a **convenient** time, but this one was particularly inopportune: need to finish a government report by the end of the month; need to finish clearing out our stuff from the old house, so we can officially hand it over to The Lady's sister; and I need to finish my Dissertation -- which I haven't touched in about a month, due to spending my non-work time de-road-dusting our things and hauling them across to our new place -- when I'm not looking after the kid.

Feeling a bit frustrated and stymied: **really** wanted to spend August working on my Dissertation. Instead, I'm not sure I'll be finishing by the end of Fall quarter. I'm bummed.


Sunday, August 12, 2007

It pays to go to church

We go to church once or twice a month: more than some folks, less than others. Today was the first time we'd gone in about a month.

The pastor, at the beginning of his sermon, mentioned that someone had donated money for new mics, and wasn't the sound better? (Sounded slightly better -- but then, so would tweaking the preamp.)

After the service, I asked him if the old mics were available for "surplussing", in exchange for some sort of donation. He replied that that I could just **have** them! He checked with one of the church council members, then took to me one of the side rooms and got them out of a cupboard. He even included the mic cables (medium-weight, but XLR on both ends)! :)

So: two free mics (although I'll still put something extra in the offering plate...). Not too bad.

For the record: they upgraded from an AKG D-190-ES and an AKG D-310 (both dynamic mics) to a pair of AKG C-1000-S (condensor mic). Probably overkill, but...


Saturday, August 11, 2007

Taking a chance on an album

Well, technically it's not an album, but a CD single -- which isn't technically a ''single'', as it includes three songs, plus a remix of the first song.

It's Lilly Allen's CD, with "Smile", "Cheryl Tweedy", "Absolutely Nothing", and a remix of "Smile". Bought it somewhat impulsively while we were out doing the weekly shopping today. It was AU$3.85, including tax (so US$3.31 at the recent exchange rates). I bought it based largely on the strength of her rendition of "Oh My God" -- which doesn't quite make sense, since it's actually a cover song, and produced by someone else.

Just a few minutes I put it on, thinking "Please don't stink, please don't stink, please don't stink."

And? Well, for less than four bucks, it's not bad. The songs are pleasant enough, although -- to my ear -- not memorable. (Well, "Absolutely Nothing", on the third listen, has a little bit of sticking power.) But nothing like when I heard my first Alanis Morrisette or Ani DiFranco song.

So: Not disappointed. But not my new favorite artist, either.


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

A few nights ago, I dreamed that I was in my mid-20s, living in an apartment complex, with a fun, perky next-door neighbor much like Tracy Toth [or did she spell it ''Tracey Toth''? regardless, if she ever Googles her name, I hope she pings me!].

Natalie Merchant -- formerly of the band 10,000 Maniacs -- lived down the hall. I was standing around talking to this Tracy Toth-like person, and Natalie Merchant walks by. I mentioned to her that I was in the process of recording some songs that I'd written, and I was in need of some pure-sounding female vocals -- would she be interested in contributing? She said sure.

Of course, this was just a dream. First of all, I'm not in my mid-20s. Second, when I **was** in my 20s, Natalie Merchant didn't actually live in my apartment building. And third, when have I last actually recorded a song?

(Photo is from -- not sure what that stands for -- just chose the image from the first row of results from Google's image search.)


Tuesday, August 07, 2007

From shaggy to not

After spending many, many months of not getting a haircut nor trimming my beard, this recent weekend I figured the time was right. Partly because my hair had exceeded the ''retro '70s'' phase of shaggy-ness, and partly because at this stage of my life -- including the gradually receding hairline -- I just think I look better with shorter hair. Plus, the new semester had started, and I wanted to look decent for teaching.

As per usual, I got out the ol' electric clippers, put the spacer attachment on it, and went at it. The Girl helped some -- at her request. And The Lady tidied up the parts I couldn't see.

The beard stuff I did on my own.

Just because I had a lot of excess on the beard to play with, I tried out the ''pharaoh look''. Alas, The Lady said it made me look sleazy.

Fair enough -- I was just experimenting...

(Reader comments?)

So, this is the final look -- asymmetrical ears and all.

Hopefully, by the time you're thirty-eight, yer satisfied with your face. :)


Thursday, August 02, 2007

Fast handed

Another photo from the photo session w/ Elsie.

I think I look pretty good in this one -- I'm wearing my age well. Credit the photographer, not the model. :)

Note the hand on the thigh. Again, the signature ''what do to with my arms'' pose.


Wednesday, August 01, 2007

So this one shoe says to the other shoe

Another photo or two from the June 8th photo shoot from Elsie.

She and her boyfriend had a few boots at the foot of her bed. I was amused by the vast difference in size -- reminded me of the ''poppa bear, momma bear''-sized bed, chair, and such. Picked up the shoes, and let them have a bit of a dialog.

I forget what they talked about. Must've been good, though, since (1) Elsie was cracking up laughing, and (2) the conversation went on for a fair while.

Also, the boots talked in funny voices.