Tuesday, 3 May 2022

The Horror's musical influences

  1. The Snap Shots - Hip Hip Hurray 
  2. Toy
  3. S.C.U.M
  4. Cerebral Palsy
  5. Skip James
  6. The History Of Apple Pie
  7. Blind Willy Mctell
  8. Joe Meek
  9. Velvet Underground
  10. The Sonics
  11. Screaming Lord Sutch
  12. Sonic Youth
  13. My Bloody Valentine
  14. The Cramps
  15. The Gruesomes
  16. Joy Division
  17. Blind Joe Death
  18. Jesus & Mary Chain
  19. The Birthday Party
  20. The Fire Engines
  21. Teddy and his Patches
  22. The Driving Stupid
  23. Dead Can Dance
  24. Squarepusher
  25. Hawkwind
  26. Can
  27. Neu!
  28. Caleb Quaye - Baby your phasing is bad
  29. The Jesus Lizard
  30. Music Machine
  31. Cramps - Sheenas in a goth gang
  32. Silver Apples
  33. The Painted Ship - Frustration
  34. Sleep - Jerusalem
  35. The Girlfriends -My one and only Jimmy boy
  36. Iggy Pop - Mass production
  37. Phil Spector / Ronnettes/ Shangri-La's
  38. Mayhem
  39. Darkthrone
  40. Les Rallizes Denudes
  41. Royal Trux
  42. Om - Pilgrimage
  43. Kraftwerk
  44. Bob Lind - Summer
  45. Melvins
  46. The Orchids - Love Hit Me
  47. Adrienne Poster - Shang A Doo Lang
  48. The Bittersweets - Summertime
  49. The Models - Bend me, shape me
  50. Dawn - Im afraid they're talking about me
  51. Marilyn Mattson - He means so much to me
  52. Christina - Bintang Tjitaku
  53. Susan Barrett - Chico's girl
  54. The Whyte Boots - Nightmare
  55. INFINITI - Game One
  56. Teddy & His Patches - Suzy Creamcheese

Monday, 2 May 2022

Guitarist: Joshua Third

Under what circumstances did you first pick up a guitar?

Joshua Third: I was 15, I started playing it to settle an argument with a friend who was a bassist. I thought the guitar part in this song was better than the bass part. I learned how to play it to show him the guitar part was better. After that, he got me in a band and I was kicked out for not knowing how to play Hendrix songs and generally being a bit too wild.

What were you listening to at the time? 

Sonic Youth, so you can imagine how those two different worlds might collide.  

Were you also interested in circuitry back then?

It came later on actually, when we started The Horrors. That’s when I started playing guitar again. We wanted all of these 60s buzz pedals and stuff, but we just couldn’t afford any of them. I had heard they were really easy to build; then I started reading about it. Suddenly I had this array of 60s effects pedals. I was really happy, and then I realized I could make pedals do even more stuff.  

And at this point you were also studying physics at a university, it sounds like you had a full plate?

Yes, I was in my last year. I was actually interested in electronics before that and I was going to go into electronic engineering. Then someone told me that I’d end up having to make mobile-phone satellites, so I studied physics instead.  

You must possess a large and high-functioning brain to have been admitted to a physics program at a place like University College London. Did you get straight As?  

I was all right. When I did A-levels they were broken up. In my AS-levels I got straight As, and then I realized I didn’t have to do any more work so everything after went down to Bs.  

Has your physics training directly helped you create pedals and other equipment?  

It doesn’t really help you but it sets your mind up for it, if that makes sense. It makes you good at math and good at looking at something and tearing it to bits. Electronics are really about knowing how something works and how you can change it. But I imagine if anyone knew I was completing a physics degree to go on and do this they would laugh at me.  If they did it’d be out of jealousy. 

But, since you say that, do you feel like there’s something else you should be doing?

I should probably be discovering new particles and having them named after me. Whoops, never mind. Who wouldn’t want that? [laughs] Why am I in a band?

The Horrors' Joshua Hayward has designed and built "hundreds" of pedals and effects units

Since they first hit the nation’s stages nearly 10 years ago – bedecked in funereal attire and pumping out a savage garage post-punk brew –The Horrors’ sound has been consistently evolving.

And, while the band’s last three albums – 2009’s Primary Colours, 2011’s Skying and 2014’s Luminous – have seen a myriad of synths come to the fore, Joshua Third’s inventive guitar-playing and experimental use of effects have been ever-central constants.

What really stands Joshua out from the majority of his peers is that his experimental dabblings are not just limited to the stage, studio or rehearsal room. Since The Horrors started in 2005, the guitarist – who has a first-class honours degree in physics – has designed and built “hundreds” of guitar effects units and pedals for the band.

When it comes to carving out The Horrors’ pulsating psychedelic soundscapes, Joshua and his electronics workshop have played a more-than-essential role.

How did you first get into designing and building your own guitar effects and pedals?

“I didn’t have enough money to buy my own!

"I got the Craig Anderton book [Do-It-Yourself Projects For Guitarists] when I was in secondary school and I made some PCBs [Printed Circuit Boards], but I never quite got around to actually building the pedals.

"When I was 20, I finally got round to doing it. The first thing I built was a Big Muff, but I didn’t like the sound of it and, in a rage, I broke it – but it’d taken me ages to do. I’d never used a soldering iron before and it was an absolute nightmare, but I didn’t stop, and I made another pedal pretty soon.”

What other pedals did you build during the early days of The Horrors?

“Another early one was a Fuzz Factory clone, but that pissed everyone off endlessly andI didn’t really use it much.

"I also had a [Boss] DS-1 that I modified to sound like a Nintendo! I think a lot of people have done that. You just take the back off, connect the two bits in the back with a little wire and then it sounds likea Nintendo… and it’s useless!

"The damn thing doesn’t work in bypass mode anymore, but it was just quite funny, and I was like, ‘Wow I did that – that sounds really bizarre!’”

Was there a turning point in terms of producing your first effect that worked really well?

“Very early on, I took a small bunch of parts on tour so I could build a pedal, and I built a [Univox] Super-Fuzz because I love Poison Ivy and I love The Cramps.

"That’s my ideal way of how a guitar should sound. Their guitar sound is just the most beautiful thing in the world. Not only did it work really well but I also learned a lot about design and circuitry.

"I’ve built about six of them now, but the first oneI built was the one with the crazy fabric on it. One big thing I realised was there’s two transistors in the circuit that would have been randomly selected, and they make each pedal sound completely different.

"I’ve had Super-Fuzzes since, and played on other people’s, and they never sound the same. It’s all because of these two little transistors, which – when they’re different – just completely change the sound. If they match, it becomes like a super-clean octave, but if they’re completely off it just becomes this outrageous fuzz, and you can go everywhere in-between once you put a pot in to control how matched they are.”

Tuesday, 29 March 2022

Top 10 Crazy JFK Conspiracys

Underground filmmaker Fabrizio Federico lists the craziest conspiracy theories to the sisyphean case that has baffled people since 1963: The JFK assassination.

0. It was an accident  

Author Bonar Menninger believes Oswald fired on JFK and a Secret Service agent fired back with a Colt AR-15 high-velocity rifle. As the theory goes, the officer lost his balance when the car suddenly braked and he accidentally discharged his weapon, killing the US president. There were no eyewitnesses or evidence to back up this theory, however. None of the Secret Service agents or presidential aides reported a bullet whizzing past either. But that didn’t stop Menninger from publishing a book outlining his theory.

9. Umbrella Man did it  

Some pin JFK’s murder on a man standing under a black umbrella on November 22, 1963 - by all accounts a sunny day. It must have been a signal, if not the murder weapon, right? The theory is so popular Oliver Stone fingered him in JFK and he appears in Umbrella Academy. Unfortunately Umbrella Man, Louie Steven Witt, said it was a protest at the appeasement policies of Joseph P. Kennedy when he was ambassador to the Court of St. James, and a reference to British PM Neville Chamberlain’s umbrella and appeasement of Hitler and the Nazis... Oh, right. We knew that.  ‍

8. The Coca-Cola conspiracy 

One theory‍ is that shooter Lee Harvey Oswald was a Dr. Pepper fan, and we know that as fact because even Oswald’s favorite beverage is part of the intrigue. In Conspiracy Of One (1990), author Jim Moore sets out a theory that Oswald acted alone because after the assassination, Oswald was seen in the Texas School Book Depository drinking Coca-Cola instead of his beloved Dr. Pepper. Moore believes there can only one realistic explanation: Oswald must have shot the president and chose the wrong soft drink from the vending machine because he was nervous. ‍

7. Woody Harrelson’s dad was supposedly involved  

Was Texas-born Charles Harrelson, father of Now You See Me actor Woody Harrelson, really the killer? The Man on the Grassy Knoll claims Harrelson Sr. was one of two gunmen and that he was later arrested dressed as a ‘tramp’ in Dealey Plaza. Dallas police eventually named three other men as the ‘tramps’. In 1968, Harrelson Sr. was convicted of murdering a businessman in a contract hit in South Texas, however.

6. The ‘Better Call Saul’ theory  ‍

In Appointment in Dallas, police officer Hugh McDonald blames the Soviets for contracting ‘Saul’, a rogue CIA agent and assassin, to kill JFK. Apparently McDonald freelanced for the CIA and met ‘Saul’ at the Agency’s HQ. He later tracked down ‘Saul’ to obtain a confession (but not, it appears, an arrest warrant). ‘Saul’ apparently shot JFK from a building across the street from Oswald’s perch in the Texas School Book Depository. If true, did ‘Saul’ conspire with Oswald? Or did two men just happen to assassinate the president at the same time?

5. The ‘Black Dog Man’ theory‍  

In The Killing of A President, Robert Groden argues that a ‘Black Dog Man’ figure can be seen in a pyracantha bush in frame 413 of the Zapruder film. The problem with that theory is that the House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded that an individual was in front of the bushes, not behind them. Bill Miller argues that the man is actually the groundskeeper Emmett Hudson. No one’s ruled out the black doggie yet, however. 

4. Oswald’s Mexican trip‍  

Oswald’s visit to Mexico before Kennedy’s death may have been to finalize assassination plans and plot his escape. Oswald visited the Cuban and Russian embassies on his six-day trip. Three of those days may have been spent with pro-Castro groups, seemingly confirmed by journalist ├ôscar Contreras Lartigue. The Conversation, however, believes the journalist lived far away at the time, however, and wasn’t in a position to know who Oswald was with.

3. The Badge Man   

Badge Man is a name given to an unknown figure that is reputedly visible within the famous Mary Moorman photograph of the assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy. Some researchers have theorized that this figure is a sniper firing a weapon at the President from the grassy knoll in Dealey Plaza. Even though an alleged muzzle flash obscures much of the detail, the "Badge Man" aka. Roscoe White - has been described as a person wearing some kind of police uniform – the moniker itself derives from a bright spot on the chest, which is said to resemble a gleaming badge.  

2. The Illuminati are to blame‍  

As the conspiracy theory goes, JFK delegated presidential power to issue silver certificates to the Treasury, which threatened the power of the Illuminati-controlled Federal Reserve. In fact, Kennedy signed an executive order to do the opposite, intending to phase out silver certificates in favor of Federal Reserve notes, but why ruin a good conspiracy with facts?

1. Aliens organized the hit  

Milton William Cooper, a former US radio personality, author, and gun-rights advocate, spread the news about Project Luna, a secret alien base on the dark side of the Moon. Furthermore, he promoted the conspiracy theory that JFK was assassinated by a ‘gas pressure device’ that aliens supplied to the driver of the presidential limo because JFK was about to expose Washington-alien collusion.

Monday, 28 March 2022

Dale Carnegie: The Godfather of self-improvement

Dale Carnegie (1888-1955) is best-known for his work on the basic, yet essential, principles for dealing with people successfully. His common-sense advice included never criticising, complaining about or condemning another person, giving sincere appreciation to others, and stimulating in others a specific desire, in order to motivate them.  Such advice formed the basis of the best-selling book for which Carnegie has become famous, How to win friends and influence people (1936). In this text, Carnegie's simple rules on how to achieve success with people are illustrated from his own and others' experiences, and also with historical stories about people such as Roosevelt and Lincoln. Although he is mainly known for this particular book, Carnegie's career began with training people to become speakers and writing various other books. He produced some of the earliest self-improvement manuals, and these are still popular today.  Carnegie's main focus is on interpersonal skills, effective communication and being a successful salesperson.

Become a Friendlier Person

  1. Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.
  2. Give honest, sincere appreciation.
  3. Arouse in the other person an eager want.
  4. Become genuinely interested in other people.
  5. Smile.
  6. Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
  7. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
  8. Talk in terms of other person’s interests.
  9. Make the other person feel important — and do it sincerely.

Win People to Your Way of Thinking

  1. The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
  2. Show respect for the other person’s opinion. Never say, “you’re wrong.”
  3. If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
  4. Begin in a friendly way.
  5. Get the other person saying, “yes, yes” immediately.
  6. Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.
  7. Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.
  8. Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.
  9. Appeal to the nobler motives.
  10. Dramatize your ideas.
  11. Throwdown a challenge.

Be a Leader

  1. Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
  2. Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.
  3. Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.
  4. Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.
  5. Let the other person save face.
  6. Praise the slightest improvement and praise every improvement. Be “hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.”
  7. Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.
  8. Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.
  9. Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.

Principles from How to Stop Worrying and Start Living

Fundamental Principles for Overcoming Worry

  1. Live in “day-tight compartments.”
  2. How to face trouble:
    > Ask yourself, “What is the worst that can possibly happen?”
    > Prepare to accept the worst.
    > Try to improve on the worst.
  3. Remind yourself of the exorbitant price you can pay for worry in terms of your health.

Basic Techniques in Analyzing Worry

  1. Get all the facts.
  2. Weight all the facts — then come to a decision.
  3. Once a decision is reached, act!
  4. Write out and answer the following question:
    > What is the problem?
    > What are the causes of the problem?
    > What are the possible solutions?
    > What is the best possible solution?

Break the Worry Habit Before It Breaks You

  1. Keep Busy.
  2. Don’t fuss about trifles.
  3. Use the law of averages to outlaw your worries.
  4. Cooperate with the inevitable.
  5. Decide just how much anxiety a thing may be worth and refuse to give it more.
  6. Don’t worry about the past.

Cultivate a Mental Attitude that will Bring You Peace and Happiness

  1. Fill your mind with thoughts of peace, courage, health, and hope.
  2. Never try to get even with your enemies.
  3. Expect ingratitude.
  4. Count your blessings — not your troubles.
  5. Do not imitate others.
  6. Try to profit from your losses.
  7. Create happiness for others.

The Perfect Way to Conquer Worry

  1. Pray.

Don’t Worry about Criticism

  1. Remember that unjust criticism is often a disguised compliment.
  2. Do the very best you can.
  3. Analyze your own mistakes and criticize yourself.

Prevent Fatigue and Worry and Keep Your Energy and Spirits High

  1. Rest before you get tired.
  2. Learn to relax at work.
  3. Protect your health and appearance by relaxing at home.
  4. Apply these four good working habits:
    > Clear your desk of all papers except those relating to the immediate problem at hand.
    > Do things in the order of their importance.
    > When you face a problem, solve it then and there if you have the facts necessary to make a decision.
    > Learn to organize, deputize and supervise.
  5. Put enthusiasm into your work.
  6. Don’t worry about insomnia.

15 Things This Training Will Help You Do
  1. Think on your feet
  2. Develop courage & self confidence
  3. Increase your poise
  4. 'Sell' yourself & your services
  5. Improve your memory
  6. Win more friends
  7. Write more effective letters
  8. Enrich your command of English
  9. Read more worthwhile books
  10. Become a leader
  11. Become a more entertaining conversationalist
  12. Increase your income
  13. Inspire you with new ideas
  14. Develop your latent powers
  15. Know intimately ambitious people