Strange Currencies Beginnings

Travelling full throttle into exciting times.

PP Johnson and I are working on and writing songs. We will be demoing while recruiting the final line up. New projects keep the fulfillment and variety. One gets ask what this band’s sound gonna be? Well under the umbrella of Rock. But not like the last bands I’ve been in. The freedom and ability to be creative, experiment, indulge is a fine thing.

As the new Strange Currencies official website and social media evolves. We will put up videos, blogs etc.

We are working on Unusual Haunts:

Compare once the band version is done.

and the instrumental

Vocals ripsaw into the essence of vibrations. With the stunning raw vocals and passion of PP Johnson. Blues/Rock/Funk drumming of Claudine West (Multi-Instrumentalist extraordinaire) Songwriting talents that produce things from the dark, the light and in between. Strange Currencies are the band that you always wanted to be in.. Sweetness follows..

Strange Currencies official website

https://strangecu.wordpress.com/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/strangecu/

Twitter https://twitter.com/strangecu

@strangecu

~ Claudine

Pilgrim Promo Number #2 NewsFlash

Under the heading Original Rock Band with Psychedelic Funk & 70’s Soul.  Nottingham Unsigned band Subway Circus are about to go back into studio to record part 2 of their 2016 debut album ‘Pilgrim Commuter

Excited? Hell Yes!

Rather good live too! IMG_5543

http://www.subwaycircus.com/gigs/

Links

https://soundcloud.com/ubwayircus

 

Twitter @subwaycircus https://twitter.com/subwaycircus

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/subwaycircus

http://subwaycircus.com/

Songwriting 

Composition
/kɒmpəˈzɪʃ(ə)n/
Bear with….To construct and deconstruct an idea is one of the most rewarding things a songwriter and musician does. The aftermath is a performance of said idea. The recording and capture.
There are many ‘jukebox’ bands and artists that simply cover others good work, some do it well. Some are cringeworthy.  I’m sure there are lots of talented musicians that are visual iTunes mini players.  Its super duper some make a fair living off performing week in week out. Nice! Hobbies are fun aren’t they? Familiarity favours applause. When attending a recent event. Comments were made that did not favour original bands. A moan at the lack of ‘covers.’ (3 words for you Sunshine. 1. Hung 2. Drawn. 3. Quartered)  I love watching bands. Being in this one (Subway Circus) we do a reworked version of Mad World. We have our guilty indulgences too.
 Subway Circus YouTube maybe a rocked up ‘Jolene’ will emerge one day.  We did tinker with ‘Rain.’
Having seen The Cult live recently (29th March, Rock City, Nottingham). I think I’ll leave it at that.
Copying is flattery.
They were supported by the band Broken Hands. Lovely bunch of lads. We purchased their new album ‘Turbulance.’ Its on rotation in the car.
broken hands
Playing to an empty room with disinterested folk is job satisfaction in a basket ;-0 Seen as a rehearsal performance out of the rehearsal room- Minus the vulgarity, Rainbow Bungle, George and Zippy impressions (making me cough up my ovaries) banter and frolics. Have you seen Bungles Twanger?
So what is the secret of writing songs?  Meeting your maker, inspiration, booze,drugs, booze, meditation, luck, structure, key changes, talent, creativity, satanic rituals, sacrifice, alien autopsies, tips from higher powers?
What make a hit? Catchiness, riffs, hooks, hocus pocus,  promotion, investment, formula, attractiveness, image.
 Sometimes the least favourite song one makes becomes the most popular. They you are stuck with performing it forever more. When even the thought of ever listening to it again in this lifetime makes the black plague seem an easy way out.
Of course you can also get signed (apparently is possible if you tick the criteria they desire yes!) Or use puppets! Sell out, change your sounds, get writers in, sing out of key, try to act hard, hang out with the big bad boys and be opinionated, get moulded, produced, marketed then probably dropped. Never play in your hometown where you were once humble and playing to nobody. But you know what? Puppets have good times!
You can sit or stand there with a guitar, a piano, a thought, a lyric, a loop, a rhythm. As a band we jam. It begins with simply that. Paul on guitar will introduce a riff, or ‘Speed’ our Bassist with come up with a bassline. Drums follow by myself, or begin. PP sings ideas. We have written a song from a vocal.  I like to document the process. I’ll be able to take a wonderful trip down memory lane after. I’m unable to show the jam of ‘Razorface’ we made last night..Sorry. We will of course showcase when done.
Songs are sounds, notes, chords, tones, melodies, rhythms. Songs are beauty. Songs are orgasm, Zen, Eden, The Celestine Prophecy, exorcism. They birth Demons. This is how they roll.
How do we do it? We have begun writing our 2nd album…It may be Unusual..It may be Haunting… We are soon to be going into studio for the 2nd session to finish our debut album.  Yes 2 sessions  = album.  Later in 2016 we will record our 2nd EP. ‘The Law.’
We have been playing our instruments for a number of years and practice weekly. Invested. If you invest time and effort you tend to get competent. If you are lucky enough to be gifted. There is your Brucie Bonus! We record live with guide vocal. With some vocal overdubs. Its in the bag. quick, raw easy. Indulgence in lots of instruments is kept for the home studio and solo work. That solo work births songs and ideas. Watch this very space.
From live recordings
To home studio
Go with your flow… be free, in order to do that. Relax and open yourself. Channel the vibes. Like meditation set your intent.  Pressure and writer’s block are a curse of the creative. Be inspired by the good and the bad, be inspired by boredom, politics, the news.  Pick a chord, hum a melody write a thought, a poem, improvise begin the begin. Make something beautiful for you. Record your favourite song, turn yourself on. Intro-verse-chorus-verse-chorus-solo-chorus-chorus-end. Go crazy change the time signature and key half way through. I found sitting on the toilet scribbling lyrics on bog roll useful. Nowadays the advancement in technology means I can type it or dictate to my phone.
I’m a big improviser. I really do just go with the flow. I experiment with looping a rhythm, playing my acoustic until I like a chord structure. Vocals. I’ve been free flow lyric writing lately. (Writing as a go to listening the track) Whereas years ago I used to mainly write the lyrics first. Write stories, be the protagonist, write the things you can’t speak. Everyone has heard 1000 songs about love lost. Add a twist. Give it a serial killer, write about your crazy surreal dreams. Write about the bitter snooker hall bulldog chewing a wasp, who has caused parking inconvenience. Let the ghost in the machine take hold of your soul and spout out words that pop into your head and come from your hands. Even if they are not in the dictionary! Read stuff, get inspired. Learn a few words. Use the rhyming dictionary.

I scribble A-Z and rhyme to each letter. Even if it makes me dribble. Let it out. Do you think I know what this is about?  and I wrote it….;-0

‘Tokyo at Mohive, Chrono las over
Highway a night drive
Imploding supernova

Molasses in the spring with Olaf
Birds of paradise in the garden

Nephilim in darkness
Corroded movers
They shake new world orders
Roll it under, Make it thunder
Break the man in two

Machina took it out on toucan
The words and menopause
The losers in the blue room
Empty wards have active soul wanderers’

Piano, keyboards, synth strings, bass, banjo, mandolin.  Hooks, meat grinders, grate a courgette add …Sitar….. http://www.claudinewestmusic.com

In a Band? Just jam ideas, work on them. Play nicely, communicate, compromise. From a seed spawns a song. Dictatorships make for unhappy puppies. If your dictator is a genius? make your choice: Stick with, earn big then have an almighty fall out and make a solo record. Or leave on principle, struggle but be creatively happy. Or just look for the right people. That may mean lots of fails and a few winners. Fate deals its hand too incase you didn’t mind.
~ Claudine

Serpentine Rivers (Boulevard of Burning)

New song. I performed acoustic guitar and added some improvised piano on this track. While working with loops.

Inspiration: Travel, escape, dreams, visions, unspoken thoughts. I started writing another book. This has some references from its first chapter. So began as a story. Then I watched Beautiful Mind and altered.. wrote, explored further. Sometimes the path winds beyond…

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Serpentine Rivers – Claudine West 2016-03-05

Stumble on the words

Use a magic marker

Avenue the view these mornings

In-between this world there’s embers

Fighting sunrise

 

Patchwork green and Serpentine Rivers

Lead east to the edge, to the rift

I drifted down

Volcanic avalanche (to the riverbed)

To the east

Serpentine Rivers

 

The traveller seeks silence

In the mind of a freedom journal

Drop the bomb

Creating a boulevard of burning

Burying the dancing matchstick men

That flickered in the lava

The mountain pass that ever last

The path that falls on jagged shadows

 

Patchwork green and Serpentine Rivers

Lead east to the edge, to the rift

I drifted down

Volcanic avalanche (to the riverbed)

To the east

Serpentine Rivers

 

It was the pinkest sky I ever saw

The birds turned tables and weather law

Turning round…

The streets this town, the streets this town

Left behind me…

New world orders had sailed beneath me

Phantoms shiver

© Claudine West 2016

http://www.claudinewestmusic.com

Twitter @claudsville75

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/claudinewestmusic/

 

enjoy 🙂 Claudine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Noctis Labyrinthus : Instrumental

There is a lot of instrumental composition work going on at the moment.  As well as looking for some fellow multi-instrumentalists for a new project to take out live and in studio. Something I’ve been wanting to try for years.

I find the universe fascinating and found and article via Twitter Jarosite in the Noctis Labyrinthus Region of Mars via NASA.

NASA

So I bought the tiny M-Audio 32 ‘mini’ midi keyboard to link up to pro tools. It looked bigger on ‘Amazon!’ My large hands don’t feel the same as playing weighted keys on my electric piano. But… we work with what we have.

 

 

Listen

https://www.reverbnation.com/claudinewest

https://bogwoppit.bandcamp.com/

 

Wildkin & Unusual Haunts

Considering it was a late and indulgent one last night. Drumming then the  adrenaline rush, sweating gush has cleansed and energised my torso and beyond. After a soak in the tub the morning after and softer fingers. I cracked on with an acoustic workout. See videos below. Good things. Good work.

Read Lastest band blog : Subway Circus

Unusual Haunts 

Wildkin 

Moon guitar

~ Claudine

 

 

Exceptional Believers and the Mandolin

As the dark afternoons and days fill me with a certain sadness. Hibernation, although it would be easy to slip away. Is a procrastination.  But It is nesting and writing time. I’m in rehearsals for live solo work, as well as with Subway Circus http://subwaycircus.com/ being the resident drummer. So Jim Jams on as soon as the dark hits. Being true to oneself and playing the music I love is the sparkles in the flames of my life.

Here is Exceptional Believers:

IDAHOT Day Performance for Outburst Fundraiser

With lots of cackles from the audience. “Shushes” during Bingo! Laughter. Entertainment variety. Which if you didn’t go! You missed out on a good night! A great crowd raised over £400 for Nottingham Outburst 

(Outburst is a Youth Group for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or think that they might be. If this is you and you are aged 12 to 25 you would be more than welcome to join)

Here is a clip of my performance.

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Its an honour to be given opportunities to help other who like myself struggled with my sexuality.

Thanks to Pete Madon, Jamie Kettle-Madon.

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Unison for organising such a good even. Scarlett Tiarra was amazing. WATCH PERFORMANCE HERE ! 

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Vocalist Suzanne Lyn got the crowd going

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I always wake up on a high after gigs. Adrenalin, swear. The buzz! As the trickles of sweat ran down my face during a performance. My voice almost lost during the last song ‘The poppudom song’ and old classic. I forgave the nerves that cripple me before a performance. With good company and a bingo win. Which will treat us to my domestic bliss world with plants from the garden centre! Rock and Roll I know!  I think I’ve also learnt that eating chili scotch eggs beforehand from Gonalston Farm shop is not wise! Thank goodness for Zantac!