Monday, August 31, 2009

Silly shoes and all...

Well me dearies, it's Monday after a weekend that would intimidate even the stoutest of heart. Needless to say that the ladies of Coal had a fantastic time on Saturday night, playing at ROAR, even with the drama that surrounded this gig.
No, we didn't cry, we didn't scream or even flinch when we were informed that we were to go on stage at 10:30pm, instead of 12:00am, to hail the re-opening of Gotham. Instead, I tried to break all land speed and make-up application time records
to run from the car to the stage in the nick of time! Apologies to all the friends who I was unable to sms to notify of the time change, applying false eyelashes and smsing at the same time is not to be attempted!
The crowd attending the Seven Deadly Sins party was a real treat to perform for and I hope that we see you guys soon at our shows. Wednesday will see us
attending Fezray's gig at ROAR. Come along, it would be lovely to see a few familiar faces.

The next day while nursing my bruised tootsies,(the shoes I bought for this gig were not my dancing shoes, they were the shoes which looked pretty and almost caused acute ankle failure on the way to the car) and working my tuch off at the Celebrate life festival, it was on a cloud of post-gig elation that I managed to get through the gruelling early start and day of massaging the knots out of peoples' shoulders.
Thanks once again to my band-mates and the folks who come out to support live music. I, for one, felt like a Chinese foot binding victim after wiggling on the spot to the Sleepers' set... and by the way their cover of Bela Lugosi's dead was superb!

This last little while the lassies have been picking apart our songs and rearranging them. It's a painstaking process, but one which fills one with an enormous sense of satisfaction when we perform the new babies for the first time and they are well received.*sigh*
The next month is going to see more refining of our material, as well as the crafting of a few new songs, so best diarize the 30 September, when we will be on stage at the Mercury Lounge with Cape Town legend, Inge Beckmann.

Rock on!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Most of us have never been through any sort of recording process before, so it's coming as quite a shock the amount of work that goes into tweaking everything to make it sound *just* right. So far we've had 4 different mixes, tried out different effects, re-recorded some backing vocals, listened really very carefully to every single note played... and are finally nearing completion with Tractor in the Hay, and there's still Stroke to go!

I have no idea how one musters the energy to do this for an entire album, so my hat goes off to everyone who has suffered through this. It's incredibly frustrating, because the perfectionist in everyone comes screaming to the fore, and I'm in serious danger of getting persnickety!

We're meeting tomorrow night with Sven for the 2nd last mix version, our deadline is Friday so we have very little time to get everything done and dusted. We're going to be featured in the next edition of the Exhibit Magazine, and the mp3 was ostensibly recorded for that purpose - though, obviously, it's a damn good thing to have anyway.

In other news, we're playing with The Sleepers on Saturday for the re-opening of gotham. The event is fetish themed, so we're planning our military outfits with as much attention to detail as we're giving to the recording ;) We hope to see you all there, we have no idea yet what gotham looks like since some renovating is apparently underway as you read this... we don't even know where the stage will be, but undoubtedly it's going to be an intimate affair.

Cathy is still away in JHB, so we'll be constructing military themed button badges without her on Wednesday! We'll be giving these badges away at the gig, so that's another reason to be there! We're also re-working some of the songs, and may have something ready in time for Saturday's gig... will keep you all posted

x H

p.s. I had Gareth from Marshall Music put a white pearlised scratch plate on my bass, and am pleased as punch, he's a genius and did a lot of tweaking to the action, and we put new saddles on it, so it sounds incredibe too! So happy, Yay!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Pretty posing and the travelling comb

On Sunday morning, a delightful white plastic comb found its way into our waistbands, was tucked discreetly into the tops of our thigh-high stockings and even enjoyed a brief rest in a sunbeam coming through the stained glass windows of a church gallery.

All this in aid of some seriously teased hair.

Sherri and I had to keep plumping up our locks in order to get them poofed out in their full glory for our photo shoot, for which we wandered around Vera’s neighbourhood in search of suitably quaint/grungy/well-lit settings. And the comb was our constant companion.

*Tease tease*

The whole experience was relatively painless, apart from the hot stench of pee on the street at one of our backdrops (a rickety picket fence behind some beautiful old sticks and twigs). Oh, and the shoes. Wow. Cathy and Helen especially deserve a medal of bravery for their patent leather stilettos!

We were lucky enough to be given permission by the church in Mowbray to shoot inside just after a service, in some lovely soft amber light coming into the gallery. We did, of course, ruffle a few of the churchgoers’ feathers: trussed up in our corsets, black lace, fishnets, tulle tutus etc. we must have resembled some kind of cultish coven! And don’t forget the big hair. “By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes!”

Michaela Verity, our intrepid, patient and talented photographer is currently tinkering with the negatives (yes, she used real film!) and we hope to have some proof of all of the excitement (and the teasing) within a week.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Coal conferences

We’re making plans for another meeting tomorrow (there will be avo to lure us to Helen’s) at which we shall discuss world domination, shoes, our upcoming Gotham gig and our photo shoot with the lovely and talented Michaela. We have loads of ideas of pretty things (unearthed mostly by Helen who certainly does not abuse the net at work, oh no sireeee) and references for the shoot, and we are very excited about practising sucking in our chins while we pose. Maybe that’s just me :)

Last week our Wed planning-of-miscellaneous-goodies get-together at Sherri’s involved lots of sweet tea, watching a martial artist drag a truck by his winkie (only on video, sadly), popcorn, banana bread, plastic diamante belt buckles, and many an 80s music video of a group we hope to cover soon. We love the poofy hair and the neon! And the white-washed jeans! We also learned how to connect our gmail calendars together, so that future pracs and meetings can be pencilled in around the very busy and fabulous private lives of all the Coal members. Yay for technology!

Speaking of which, Cathy brought a song idea which she had cleverly recorded on her cell phone. This lovely ditty we further developed on Saturday at practice. Goosebumps all over! (Although, again this is probably just me. I am a bit of a sap.) It was so inspiring for all of us to work on some new melodies and play around with ideas. The cheap drinks helped to lubricate us too. I look forward to more of the same this Saturday.

Yours in Black Label and lace,

Monday, August 3, 2009

Criminally Insane

I religiously set my alarm for half an hour earlier than I am actually required to get out of bed, then I re-set for the correct time and snooze. Most mornings this all happens at 5am, because I have to be up and awake for 6am bootcamp, sans eyebrows. I then spend an hour, literally [*winks at Linda*], working my ass off while simultaneously finding the lung capacity to grumble with my fellow campers. I am notorious for having the balance of a toddler, yet have miraculously avoided running tumbles, but have still managed to injure my hip doing all that jogging. I have set up a savings account for my bionic hip, but am hobbling everywhere in the meantime [in high heels to boot, testament to my poor decision making skills].

I live within walking distance from my office, but have only walked to work a handful of times. I blame the century city mist, which is something out of Silent Hill most mornings – one of the area’s major selling points as far as I’m concerned, it’s quite surreal. I do a fair bit of walking everywhere else though, and have threatened to invest in a bright pink tracksuit for laughs – I tried one on once, and Adam nearly herniated his spleen laughing, so I guess that’s a clear indicator that I shouldn’t seriously be thinking about buying one. Hrmph.

If there is a question I am asked, without fail, every single day it’s: “... and exactly what do you do there?” The most successful answer to that question is usually “I run our quality management system! “ However, that’s not strictly speaking true, because that’s the least of my problems, really. I’m responsible for a fair amount of tasks in our office from skills development to customer complaints and maintaining our ISO 9001 certification. I sit on 4 different committees, including the employment equity committee, and I’m responsible for our BEE and ‘transformation’. I really, really, really, really, love my job. I’ve also got the added bonus of having a boss who lets me get on with whatever I’m doing without constantly checking up on me, which I can recommend to anyone!

I studied to be a forensic psychologist, which has bugger all to do with what I do on a daily basis, but means that I’ve an unnatural obsession with mental illnesses, and often spend my lunch hour cruising the bargain book stores for b-grade crime novels... and drinking a Kauai smoothie – I will take this opportunity to whine about the Royal Hawaiian being removed from their menu.

As I’m now corporate goth, I am finally able to afford living on my own, so I get home to a pristine & tidy flat every evening [Yay! Hate dirt. Argh!], and can fine tune my lasagne making and cookie baking skills, often for Adam’s benefit. Mostly I just eat a sandwich and read a book on the couch though – because who really has the bloody energy to cook for just themselves?

I’m also addicted to the internet, and have been since I was about 17, so I spend a lot of time in the evenings online surfing the forums at somethingawful & tdiclub and stalking John Cusack, or doing myself an injury trying to play Super Mario Galaxy for wii. I used to have an actual proper decent computer, and spent an inordinate amount of time honing my lightning gun skillz, but unreal tournament won’t run on this machine... more grumbling.

I won’t tell you what time I usually end up in bed, because it’s embarrassing and the antithesis of rock ‘n’ roll. Suffice it to say I am not fond of the bags under the eyes look, and endeavour to drink plenty of water every day and get more than enough sleep every night!

Oh yes, and magpie-esque hoarding, I do a lot of that.