Saturday, March 25, 2017

And This

Yesterday it was Art At Gina's. Her series of paintings are coming along magnificently: they are powerful and punch you in the guts.
Gina paints, I draw, we talk.

Reading, Writing, No Rithmetic

I have been reading Daniel Rachel's book, Walls Come Tumbling Down: the music and politics of Rock Against Racism, 2 Tone and Red Wedge. It's great: straight-from-the-source conversations about music and politics, and the ways that they intersected in the late 1970s and early 1980s in the UK. It captures the 'anything is possible' feeling of the moment in a very honest and balanced way.
I am currently writing chapter for an academic journal, which is scary because the last one I wrote got rejected (although I will be writing another book this year too, so I am not at rock bottom by any means). I realised that the article that was rejected was written at the lowest point of last year, which was pretty damn low, and the rejection feeling is bundled up with all that too.
Now I have to see if, and how, the things people say in Daniel's book shine light on what I am writing about. This requires concentration, and I am journeying today so it's all printed out and ready to take.
I have to change professional gear so many times but I'm used to it, and to dealing with disappointment too.
Wisdom about these things turns up very late in life, but I am glad that it has turned up at all.
For now, I'm all dressed up in my fancy togs, and ready to face the world and its adventures, once more appreciating friendship and kindness and looking forward to what today has to bring.
Wot a hippy.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Bit Of Drama For Thursday Avo

A Message to Lord Sandwich

They fall to bits. Redesign, please.

More Music

Quickly, Before The First Knock At The Door

Workers, Waterloo Bridge, Tuesday. A lovely day for dawdling.

Pop and Corn

Ten student tutorials today, one after the other, every half an hour.
Before they start, I have a moment of peace and reflection. All I can hear is the hum of the air conditioning and distant buses on the other side of the double glazing.
Somehow yesterday I managed to find a printer for the chord book, a CD manufacturer, and almost finish designing the tour poster.
I am still a track short for the album, having stupidly made an AIFF with guitar and vocal on it instead of just vocal to take to the last recording session, but I've got a 16GB USB stick with the project on it to give to the engineer today. I've got an 8GB memory stick with the project for another song that I'm getting a remix of. That one's pink, so I don't get mixed up.
I am very tired, but about six weeks ago I remembered how to be happy and the resulting energy boost has been phenomenal. After months of monkish silence in my private life, I can't stop talking (sorry, friends). Everything that I look at seems beautiful, and everything I hear moves me almost to tears. This is a great time to listen to music. So here you are:

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Dee Dah Dee Dah

Photo by Steven Tagg-Randall


I was so hungry when I came in that I ate the whole packet of Cadbury's Mini-Eggs while Offsprog One was upstairs wondering whether to have one or not.
Now I haven't got any room for braised leeks.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Staggered Breakfast Times

Everyone knows that rock'n'roll breakfast time is some time after 1 p.m.
A pint glass full of water, throw up, then a full English at a greasy spoon, followed by another little vomit and back to bed for a couple of hours.
Academic breakfast time is around 9 a.m.
Just time for a bowl of muesli before spitting crushed nuts at students in tutorials at 10.30 a.m.
Office worker breakfast time is some time around 7 a.m.
Toast (just leave the crumbs in the butter, and on the worktop) and half a cup of tea with no milk because you forgot to buy it.
Banker breakfast time is 5 a.m.
A cup of coffee followed by a 'Full English' at 10.30 in a posh café (hence the inverted commas).
Cleaner's breakfast time is 4 a.m.
The remains of last night's dinner and a cup of tea made with a used teabag in the first office of the day.

So now you know.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Some Colour

Always use tartan, you know it makes sense.

I've Lost My Metronome

On a scrap of paper there are all the BPMs for the new album songs; I found them because I wanted to re-do a guitar part at home but they are of no use, because I've ended up recording completely different songs.
The metronome isn't in the box of tiny things and it's not in the glove drawer either. It will be impossible to find because it is so small. You can't phone it and get it to beat, like you can with a mobile phone.
I'm only writing about it because there is space in the day called 're-doing the guitar part' and then later 'looking for the metronome'.
'Cleaning the kitchen floor' is not an option, but re-doing the lead vocal for Women of the World with the choir might be, except the MP3 won't copy into Logic.
These truly are first world problems.

Inara George, The Voice Of Grown-Up Fairyland

This is my drawing-to music this morning.
This afternoon, I will be listening to silence as I revise an academic article.
I hope this evening that I will be recording but that depends on stage two being stress-free.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Drawing The Tour Poster

Just listened our way through two entire Northern Sound compilations, Offsprog Two and me, sitting at the table Doing Art, drinking tea and eating burnt toast. The kitchen table is a hero: a table to eat at, a sewing machine table, a recording studio, an art table, a desk, and anything else a flat bit of polished wood could ever possibly be. Kitchen table, I love you. Please marry me.