This one I wheeled out the other night, I had to remember the chords which took some ‘memberin’ but I got there. I wrote it back when I was in my late 20s and flush with the first experience of the bliss that meditation brings. 15 or so years later I am still into meditation and positive conscious expansion in a big way. It’s always there to support me through hard times and has really come back into the forefront of my life with renewed vigor now that I have knocked the booze on the head after a long struggle with that.
Despite my new clean livin’ lifestyle (6 months in almost) I had a bit of a mini-breakdown a few weeks back (all good, just a speed bump in the road) and meditation and spiritual (and human!) connection brought me through it just fine. I am so glad to have these abilities to help myself feel better about life when things get tough and I really feel called to help people though my music and words to feel better themselves, to cope when life seems too much to bear. That’s the direction I’m heading in now, something more authentic and helpful to others.
Hope this song helps you in some way. It’s really just a rehearsal as I prepare to reintroduce it into my set. Next gig – Dave Graney support @ Sooki Lounge, Belgrave, July 25th!
Two or three weeks ago I had a bit of a meltdown, and long story short, emailed both my bands and quit.
I was burnt out from overwork and adult responsibilities, and just struck out at the one thing I could (in theory) remove from my plate (can’t quit work or being a Dad – not that I would want the latter).
I have read stuff before about how people training for sports and performance are often advised to run through their training mentally at other times (i.e. not at actual training) and I find a similar thing works for songwriting. I basically run around writing songs in my head all day, and sometimes sitting down with the guitar just becomes a formality, it’s already cooked.
That’s what happened with this new song, Gangbusters (Ride Again) which I did start on the guitar some time ago before picking it up again last week and adding the chorus, but I was not sure where to go with the chorus. Then yesterday I was doing the dishes and the song chorus showed me where it wanted to go – up! (more…)
There’s a simple reason, at least before a gig, because we get nervous! Yesterday we had a small dinner party and, now that I don’t drink, it was very hard for me to be relaxed because I knew I was “on at 9”. Hey, might not be at the Madison Square Gardens but nevertheless, I knew there would be a fair few heads there and I could feel my stomach in knots all day. Didn’t make for scintillating dinner company as a consequence, I’m afraid.
Gig (Sooki Lounge, Belgrave, Victoria) went well enough, it’s been 5 months tea-totalling and I am still not entirely used to performing without a little shot of courage before & during, but I am, at the least, seasoned, so I am pretty good at putting my own personal frame of mind out of the picture and focussing on providing value to the audience. Sold some music, chatted to the venue owners, worked on my mate Jeff the booker for a support gig I want, and watched my mate get totally mashed and then even drove him home. Aren’t I nice?
Me yelling at my drunk mate to hurry up and take the photo already
The main act Naked Bodies were so great I bought their CD, really fine & cool. Very entertaining drummer. I like.
Even with the CD purchase, still came home with all of my pay in my pocket and here I am, fully functional before 10am Sunday morning. Life is good.
A week ago after more than 20 years, I decided to quit music forever. I was in a REALLY dark place and had just had enough of everything. Emails were sent. Bands were cancelled. Better Half rolled her eyes.
Yeah, she was right, that lasted about 2 days. Now it’s 12:30am and here I am writin’ tunes & I have a gig tomorrow at Sooki Lounge here in Belgrave ha ha.
This new song is about that, going dark, losing it, then finding the resilience to brush yourself and have another crack.
WARNING: UNFINISHED, STILL QUITE CRAP, RECORDING SKILLS LAUGHABLE
(if anyone has any idea how to make that freakin’ popping noise stop, please put me out of misery)
Self Conscious Justification
Thought I’d spontaneously do something and document writing new songs. I have 2 finished works – one out now and one to come out later this year – but I am really keen to move on and start a new round of songwriting. And what the hell, I thought I’d start recording the process & documenting it to the wide wiggin web.
Today I got a RODE podcaster USB mic, you see, so I came out to unpack it and plug it in at about 9pm and just kept going. All these years playing I have avoided learning to record my own music but what the hell, you know I want to.
But right now? I have NO idea. But what hell. I have a sweet mic, a pretty doughy DELL laptop and a subscription to Adobe (all of which I justify for spending cash on for work). Adobe creative cloud has a program called Audition so after setting up this:
… I decided to fire it up. Oh I hadn’t downloaded that one yet … oh Adobe won’t let me download it even though I have paid for it because they don’t support Vista. (Yeah I know, I know, must update …). Also fuck you Adobe.
SO what the hell, download Audacity, it’s free, people only ever say nice things about it.
Gave it a whirl, have NO idea why it keeps clicking but I am sure I will learn over time. But for now, I just wanted to get back to the guitar (like 2 hours of pissing around from unpacking the microphone and setting it all up to figuring out the software to be able to at least start the journey).
Got back to the song I am writing. I enjoy the process of songwriting so much. It’s like exploring, you never know what you’re going to bump into next. And it’s also like sculpting, you start out with a big mess of clay and you slowly but surely shape it into something that has form, and if you’re lucky, merit.
This one is about halfway there, the big hooks have materialised, I have most of the lyrics, now I just need to do the long repetitive process of playing it over and over and over one zillion times until the finer details fall into place. There’s still a long way to go, lots of meandering crap that needs to be culled, a middle that doesn’t know what to do with itself, a chorus that doesn’t know where to go after it gets all dramatic. Just sort of ends up there, suddenly embarrassed about itself for losing it’s cool.
I’d better go fall into place myself… the warm soft place of noddy… kids won’t give a shit that I was up late ha ha
p.s. If I am going to actually use this website I’d better update it, it’s a bit of a turd really… my attention has been on Zuiiza.
I am quite excited to be launching a new single “Monkey Mind” very soon indeed, including some sweet, sweet video action and an ebook to go with the song too, how’s that for something different. I will also be packaging the song up with my various releases of the last five years into an album. You know, one of them CD things or if you prefer, intangible downloady goodness.
Gearing up for a lot more gigging too after some gig downtime, did a couple in July including a great gig at the Yarra Hotel in Abbotsford here in Melbourne. Really, really fine pub. Also played at Station 59 in Richmond which is a pretty sweet little venue too with delicious Coopers Dark Ale on top.
I am playing at the Ferntree Gully Hotel twice in August, on the 3rd and the 17th, so that will be cool, first time there.
other news is that the Zuiiza album is FINALLY in its last stages of the 7 year epic effort to fruition, and will be released in spring this year. More soon, oh my breathless expectant public…
The entire world will stop and unite in a joyous outpouring of excitement and love when I release my first tune for the year this august. The song in question is called “Monkey Mind” and it is a full production number with drums n opera singers n shit AND an actual video. I will be packaging it up with an album that is effectively the best of the last 5 years worth of music. FUCKING GOOD music too I might add.
Going forward from there: this spring sees the release of the Zuiiza album, of which I am but one third, but thankfully for my fragile ego, the “lead singer” third. Videos will abound for this also. Then in 2014 I am to record a new solo album proper. By the time this comes out I will be massively famous around the world and probably won’t speak to little people like you any more. So call me now and buy me drinks, or forever hold your piss.
This post is ostensibly to let you know about the gigs I have coming up. However, those in far flung places, see below for a smattering of news & content to entertain you right now in your comfy socks.
SYDNEY – This Thursday 4th October in Newtown, Sydney at the Union Hotel with Andrew P Street – see Facebook event page
ADELAIDE – Sunday October 14th me and Andrew P Street (formerly Undecided, Career Girls for those with long memories) return to Adelaide to show the kids how it’s done. Grace Emily, 5pm – see the Facebook event page
BELGRAVE – in the Dandenong Ranges, outside of Melbourne. Rumour has it I live there. I also rock the joint from time to time. Including an EPIC 15 minute slot at the Reverberation Festival, Sat October 20th 4pm. See the website.
MELBOURNE – Finally Sunday November 18th at the Wesley Anne, Northcote as part of the legendary Melting Pot Songwriter’s In The Round, 2pm. Bring it on.
No new recordings just now but the debut album by Zuiiza, featuring me, Peter Owen (me old bandmate from Reckoning) & Tony “E-bow” Ennis is about 70% cooked.
It’s been 2 years in the making and is truly EPIC, WEIRD & DAMN CATCHY TO BOOT.
It’s space rock, more like Reckoning than my solo stuff, of which there are also recordings afoot .. stay tuned, the good times are just getting started…
Pictured – Andrew P Street and me singing Reckoning’s “I Am Stone” like it was 1995 all over again at the Wesley Anne, Northcote, Melbourne, July 2012