tex mex red chicken

tex mex red chicken

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They call it the graveyard shift or gravy for short. All-nighter at the studio. It’s the cheapest time on the clock. Midnight to 8 in the morning. Just me, the engineer and the click track hour after hour. It can make you crazy. The drum machine playback in the headphones. Like getting boxed in the ears 120, 140, 165 beats per minute. I’m humanising. What’s that? Well, its when they need a human to play percussion over a machine drum line to give it some life. Been giving life all night and now I’m dead. Beating on the kit till my arms fall off and my heads been jack hammered to mush. I’m punchy, I feel drunk. I don’t see straight.
I’m starving hungry too.

The over-bright fluorescent tube lights in the store burn into my head after the cave-like gloom of the recording booth. I’m staggering under the weight of my cymbal bag, percussion box and snare case. Yeah! Thinking maybe my mum was right when she sent me for violin lessons when I was 5 years old.

Wow!, they’ve got everything in here, but what do I want? I grab some red chillies, limes, cilantro and a pack of fresh chicken breasts. I’ve got cooked rice and beans in the fridge at home. Got onions, garlic and olive oil too. Just need a can of those lovely little cherry tomatoes. I bend down to reach them off the bottom shelf then stand up too quickly. The aisle bends and warps. Sudden white noise hissing in my ears. My eyes flicker out of focus and the floor rushes up to meet my teeth. A cascade of cans rains down, clattering and chasing each other across the floor. They sound like wind chimes in a thunderstorm on race day. Vague shapes move and mumble, far away I’m sinking. [Read more…]

piney pasta squizzle

squizzle

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The day had left a bitter, anxious taste in my mouth, mingling with the whisky. Despite being let go, I felt sorrier for John than myself. After a few drinks in the cluttered back room I had left him there, still drinking, and begun cycling home. It was a truly miserable night but the heavy rain felt refreshing as I sang along with Brian Wilson, weaving down the wet streets. John’s business was getting bleaker by the day, and we both knew where it was headed. Nobody wanted old cameras anymore, and I felt ashamed to be also falling into that widening digital bracket. A block or so from my flat, making an unintended swerve, my bike began to slide toward the side of the road. ‘No, no, no…’ I willed out loud. [Read more…]

jewel in the crown fruit salad

Jewel in the crown

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We were crammed into a route that snaked through the narrow claustrophobic streets near the old Born market, a once notorious barrio of south central Barcelona. It was Halloween and freezing cold and I was breathing flames and playing djembe with a mixed street circus group of Basque and Catalan crazies seriously set on intimidating the innocent pedestrians with shrieks, booming drums, clanging bells and heavy duty playback all with fireworks and flames and hardly room to turn round and not burn off someone’s eyelashes. It getting too packed with people, I’m thinking, and each time I spew a ball of fire to the heavens, I’m blowing more directly up each time directly above my own face for fear of barbequing the back of somebody’s head. [Read more…]