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Archive of ‘General blather’ category

Back in Black

Hey thanks all for the comments on this post. I am glad that post has ‘struck a chord’ (arf arf) with musos and writers alike. Since I wrote it in early May, it has been the single most popular post that this humble blog has ever hosted (nearly 3000 people have landed on this post with a bounce rate of 67% and an average time-on-page of about one minute 30 seconds – which means that a fair percentage would have bothered to read it).

I haven’t actually written a post since then, which is because writing it marked the end of a phase for me, as I had sort of ticked off the to-do list a big one which was to get out there and play gigs again.

I did so for a few months and that was ace but then I realised that:

A) winter had come and I was cold and

B) this meant I needed it to be a pretty good gig for me to go driving half way across the state at just-after-kids-bedtime on a Tuesday night and

C) I really needed to update my recorded product because the stuff I have is nonrepresentational of my (far more upbeat and humorous) current set/act.

D) I also run a business and it has been going through a major restructure so had to focus on that big time or else it was going to be normal job huntin’ time for me (no thanks).

This was, in truth, probably the major factor in my short hiatus from making music.

But now I am a little more stable in terms of self-employment again and looking forward to the having some extra cash to go do a new recording and getting out to do some gigs again. I have a couple of minor gigs, both music and stand up comedy (which I am seriously inexperienced at) coming up in August and hopefully this will segue into a busy Spring.

Also have had some fresh encouragement in that fairly major publisher is interested in reading a couple of chapters of a book I am working on so that is exciting, see how it goes…

Hoping to find time again to devote to my creative-side because putting it on the shelf for a few months – while necessary for the (financial) well-being of my family – had the unfortunate side-effect of intensifying my usual bout of winter blues to the point where I was probably as depressed and anxious as I have ever felt there for a while. It was no fun but I have always struggled with a roller-coaster slide down and back up out of depression on a semi-regular basis and it (thank God) always passes.

Merry Xmas!

Here’s the closest I get to sending Christmas cards to anyone, posting a pic of me performing at the Empress the other night.

img_8164.jpg

Thanks to Nic for taking the photo and yes, I really am this skinny … actually the photo s-t-r-e-t-c-h happened by accident but I like it so it stays like this or the friggin’ elf gets it …

… get drunk tomorrow night and Xmas day as well, that’s an order. Merry fucking Xmas to you 🙂

Barking Mad Dog

Ok so I still need to get the actual discs out there, they are on my desk still (got distracted by work and baby and a lot of expensive unpasteurized cheese) but meanwhile I uploaded all six tracks to Myspace so you can actually listen to and apparently download them there as some thing they call an Mp3, or something …

If you do download all six songs and want to try and imagine what they would be like if you were listening to them on some antiquated format like a CD (thing we used to use to listen to music, don’t worry about it) then just think in your mind like this “This see-dee is called “Dogs May Bark”, and you’ll do fine.

Meanwhile just a did a whip through my RSS. Here’s the highlights.

If you have been labouring under the misconception that you are at all big, then Albert 2.0 should help you to get a little perspective on your delusions of grandeur. Thankfully he will also inspire you to achieve great things, like downloadable snacks, surely the next big breakthrough in food since the much maligned microwave. Seriously the author has a point, I spent years shooting for the quickest route to the stars only to get to 34 and realise that if I’d taken the long way round I would be there by now. Oh well. Fuck it.

Greg showed me how The Material really know how to pimp the crap out of their myspace page, and I gotta admit it beats mine, but then I’ve got the sound muted to save from waking up the baby, so who knows? Maybe my tunes are actually better? (Did I mention my songs yet?)

I noticed (how could you miss it?) that The Material have a song on a thing called Rock Band. I took one brief look at that and shrank back into the safety and warmth of my grandpa cardigan. None of that computery-gamey type shit for me thanks!

Meanwhile Andrew Dubber well and truly K.O.’d any delusions I may have held that the Long Tail was in anyway a good thing for small time hucksters like you and me. That makes two useless tales in my life. Stupid dog knocked over my early morning chow earlier, spent the first ten minutes of my day mopping up the carpet. Then get this, he vomits as a second act. Big dumb piece of poo. But you gotta love his style.

At the risk of sounding vaguely serious, I loved this line from the ubiquitous Seth Godin:

Hope. Do you offer hope for something really big in the future? Maybe just around the corner, but perhaps in the long run… What does it look and feel like? Are you drawing a vivid picture?

You see, that is what I have always believed that musicians provide as a benefit to the rest of us. Actually not musicians but more specifically Rock Stars: Hope that there is a way out of the Blah. (The fact that I ended up quite liking the Blah is besides the point; most people don’t.)

Just read this blog. The dude is your new guru. That’s a full stop to the left there (or a period if you prefer, but in Australia, I assure you, we definitely do not).

While you are reading it, listen to my six new tunes (well, the recordings are new) and remember…

“Dogs may bark, but the caravan moves on…”

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Are you an old sad-case wanna-be?

I was watching the movie Juno last (yes I mostly spend Friday nights at home watching vids with the wife these days, 9 month old child to look after and all) and the character played by Jason Bateman struck a nerve. He is a married suburban musician about mid-thirties who is frustrated about his career having stalled and consequently can’t commit to having a child and, as his on-screen wife puts it, “growing up”.

Suddenly I had a moment, like “fuck, I am like THAT guy? Am I an old sad-case who still thinks he’s gonna be the next Kurt Cobain?”

Then I relaxed, because the answer is no. My style of music has changed to one that would still suit me when I am an old man and I am in fact totally happy with where we live, our little family life and our modest day-to-day concerns, things like “can we get the baby to sleep through the night if we feed her up before bed” and “just which day IS bin day anyway?”. It’s true that I do miss gigging but I have my CD ready to go out and get gigs again and so very soon I will be back on that horse. And it is true that I often fantasize about getting out on stage in front of huge crowds again like I got to when I was like twenty four (11 years ago!) and that I would happily accept a level of recognition again and in fact do actively court it. BUT it is also true that I am pretty happy with just taking every moment as it comes, and as long as I am free to express myself myself through music and words, without being trapped in some hellish 9-to-5 job all week, then I am cool with however it all turns out. In fact sometimes I think about what it must be like to be like one of my heroes like Nick Cave and I think “Jeez, all those airplanes, all that rushing about, bummer.”

So I am getting my music out there again, doing one thing every day, but sometimes the things I do are pretty small, and truth is if I desperately wanted out of my situation I would be doing a whole lot more than one little thing every day. But I don’t want out of my situation, I am the kind of content that makes teenage kids puke, and that’s cool. I did my time being a wastoid rebel on the run (from myself). Now I just wanna enjoy life and my family, and play some music too.

But if you are unhappy with your life, if you are a stuck-in-a-rut suburban musician who feels like a rat in a cage, then for fuck’s sake – don’t take it out on the people in your life, it’s not their fault that you have an itch. Get up off the couch and go for it. Fact is: if you have even just SOME talent and a LOT of drive, then you can do it. Plenty do. It can be hard, but it is do-able if you keep it real and work like a dog at it.

And your wife/husband/partner/kids will respect you all the more for it too. They may knock you down when you TALK about it, but that’s just a mixture of their own limiting beliefs reflected onto you plus genuine concern for your mental well-being. If you actually go out and start DOING it, they will soon change their tune and probably get behind you and help. If they don’t then they may be the wrong partner for you – the kids you gotta keep though ok?
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Don’t Take Sundays Off

Wanting success in the music world is, at least from the conventional way of looking at the world, a big ask. And big asks require big commitments. So this is why I am no longer taking Sundays completely off from work. I AM still taking them off from my ‘day job’ but not from doing one thing every day to get my music out there.

Today’s thing was to deal with the big old pain in the arse that setting up my printer to work properly was. It took me bloody ages to get the blighter working again, and I probably taught my little girl a colourful new word or two, but I got there in the end (after yawning my way through countless forum threads until I figured why it wouldn’t print properly).

But then once that was done I was able to start printing off my CD covers, which means I am on track to have those discs ready for the (breathlessly waiting 😉 world to line up and carry on like my CD is the new iPhone or something*.

Geez, I am really stringing some Irish grammar together tonight.

Irrational expectations aside, I drew a tarot card for my new album, you know, how will it go and I got the Ten of Pentacles. “This is the card you want to see if you are wondering how your latest enterprise will turn out. Wealth and affluence are yours.”

Blimey, that’s friggin’ good 🙂

Meh. Time to watch a DVD and munch on chocolate biscuits (ah, domestic bliss).

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Do One Thing Every Day …

… to get some music action happening in my life again. That’s the plan. And preferably it should be the “biggest rock” (the action that will achieve the most out of the available range of possible actions) but I am pretty much happy if I do something at least. And practising* doesn’t count – this is about getting it out there. Practising is about being ready for when you are actually out there.

So today I didn’t have a lot of time but I finally managed to spend some time pimping my myspace page (yes like a big old kid).

The most exciting thing that I did there was add a RSS feature to it so that this blog gets fed into the myspace page.

Damn! Somebody might even read it! Then I’ll be in trouble!

Yesterday’s thing (similarly busy day) was that I struck a deal with Steven Mills . He is going to use me as a guinea pig for his new system of promoting yourself effectively across the web. Which means I should soon be getting heaps of eyeballs and ears checking out my tunes and mad bastard ramblings …

Not sure what I will do tomorrow … maybe something more “real world” orientated?

(*practising? practicing? I can never figure it out. And who cares really?)

Ok that’s better…

So I fixed up my tag line. Kind of. I will probably twiddle with it along the way and I DEFINITELY need to learn how to make the text after the first tagline smaller and, you know, sit under the tagline, but this’ll do for now …

Time for a Change

Well, it’s almost like this blog was a placeholder in a way, because not only have I finally got myself an actual “Office of Imagination and Procedure” than I have decided to change the sub-header of this blog in order to really focus its purpose.

I am now changing “Words and Music from the Office of Imagination and Procedure”, poetic as that may be, to “Diary of a Crazy Musician Who Refused to Give Up”, because, frankly, that’s what I am.

And there you have it.

*Twenty minutes of fiddling around with the computer (and growing increasingly agitated) later*

I was going to include a screen shot of what it used to look like but I couldn’t do it, and now I’m drunk and more to the point – I’ve run out of beer and I couldn’t give a fuck about the stupid screenshot anymore so you’ll have to look it up on the way back machine if you know what that is and are really that bored.

And I had all this other inspiring shit to say but now this whole screenshot business has just pissed me off. When did words like “screenshot” even become part of my life anyway? It sounds like some kind of technical term that only porn stars and their camera crew would know about.

And come to think of it, that’s my whole point.

But more on that later. For tonight I changed the sub-title and that’s all he wrote. So goodnight to you.

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