How Not to Shout

Tonight was to be a practice/recording session with Strict Machines. I was all geared up for a stand-up row which would go something like this:

Kap: Before you start practicing, I need to do a soundcheck - like we talked about last week.

Paul: Okay, you do a check while we play.

Kap: No, that's what you said last time, and the result was a lot of unusable recordings. I need to get the microphone placement and mixing right, and you need to get the guitar sound right for recording. We can't do that while you're all playing.

Paul: We're recording rehearsals, not rehearsing recording - it doesn't have to be perfect.

Kap: That's what you said last time, and the result was a lot of unusable recordings.

Paul (exasperated): Yeah, but we don't have much time, and I just want to play!

Kap: Do you want to produce some usable recordings?

Paul: ...

Kap: If you do, I need to do a soundcheck, and I'll need everyone's help for ten minutes. Because if I don't, we'll just get more unusable recordings, and the bootleg EP won't happen.

Anna: I think you should listen to...

Paul: But we're recording rehearsals, not rehearsing recording! Don't you understand? The rehearsal's more important, and we don't have much time.

Kap: If you're not prepared to take ten minutes out of a three hour rehearsal to get things set up right, there's no point in me being here at all. It doesn't have to be perfect, but we've got to do it properly, because if we don't, the result won't be worth the recording.

Paul puffs and gasps in annoyance.

Kap: We should have done it three weeks ago, but you kept saying it wasn't necessary. Then afterwards you heard the playback and said next time we should do a soundcheck because the recordings were all crap.

Paul walks off muttering in a huff. The rest of us spend 10 minutes getting the the placement and mixing right, then another five waiting for Paul to come back. When he does, it takes another few minutes to get the levels and sound of his guitar right. After which, we start the recording process we should have started three weeks before.

Actually, there's only a small chance I'd get the chance to say half of all that, and there'd still be no soundcheck. So I'd have the choice of standing through another pointless three hour practice session while guessing recording levels, or walking off in a huff myself.

However, it turns out all three band members were too tired or ill to come tonight. Bugger.

I used to go out with this fellow, years ago. I always thought he'd wind up with a good relationship, a dull job and several jobs at a theatre company - and that's exactly what did happen. He's also on FriendsReunited, and if I'm anything more than a smudgy blur in his memory, with luck he'll write back soon.

After a painfully shaky opening three episodes, Torchwood is getting quite good. And I don't think it's a coincidence that the better it gets, the darker it gets. The last one - Episode 106, Countrycide - was a gory slash-and-suspense affair, with something nasty in an isolated village killing and eating strangers. Think "The Hills Have Eyes", with elements of "The Wicker Man" and "League of Gentlemen" without the laugh track.

The "twist" of course was that the culprit wasn't a supernatural ghoul of crashed space alien - it was the villagers themselves, following their quaint local custom of cannibalism. Some "surprises" just go with the genre, and that's one of them.

Having said that, the writers didn't follow the logic through, and in the end made the main killer an evil eye-rolling psychopath. On TV and the movies, being insane isn't a psychological condition - it's the laziest way to give a character a motive when they've got no reason to do what the plot demands. Why do they murder? Because they're mad. What does that mean? It means they kill for no reason.

At any rate, it looks like I'll have a lot to write for my review of the eighth episode - the first thing I've had published in a magazine for 13 years. And the last one was a poem about the structure of DNA.

At least I know what I've going to be doing tonight. I have nine large cardboard boxes, all packed tightly with videotapes. One of them is the special tape I need to clean the VCR read head so I can view all the others. It's in there, somewhere. Sigh.

You know I almost once took a degree in Librarianship Studies? I have this compulsion to categorise and sort things.

UPDATE: It's amazing what you find when you're looking for something else. I found two spare video recorders under a table - one of which does not chew up tapes. So now I've got an episode of The Bill from 1989 running in the background.

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