Thursday 14th March, 2013
This is the original reason that it occurred to me to start blogging. I'd find myself on the tourbus with my iPod on having memories and thoughts triggered as shuffle offered up various tidbits that I wouldn't have put on of my own accord. So I'm going to give that a go at translating it to blog form, hopefully with some Spotify or other links to listen to what I'm listening to. I'll do my best to avoid it all being "I like this because...", although I think that is an inevitability from time to time. And the other important thing is this:
I'm aware my music listening has become somewhat atrophied. I think this is somewhat a currency of ageing - I don't have the appetite to assimilate new music that I once did, or the time to go looking for it. And also the thrill of discovery has somewhat gone with cynicism; my analytical brain, the bit of me that has got used to making sure I can play what I'm hearing pretty much straight out in case I get called for a session, looks at the 'how' and the 'why' and the structure and arrangement and does drain the untrammelled joy of surprise.
But I want you people to make suggestions for me, down there in the comments. It lets me know when there's a new comment so I always see them, and given that you're going to be discovering what's on my iTunes (my aren't we plugging evil mulitnational Apple© today) you can recommend some other things that you think I might like. No links allowed down there, but don't worry, I'll find anything you suggest.
Surely enough preamble, please lord say that's enough. Let's begin the shuffle...
Wrathchild - Iron Maiden (Killers)
Wow, what a way to start. This speaks to me about school days and wearing all denim. My denim jacket had myriad patches on the back, my hair was shoulder length (the most I could get away with as an eleven year old at school), I even briefly wore cowboy boots. I remember my favourite band, IQ, didn't have patches so I got my mum to embroider their logo onto the jacket. She was a saint. That didn't last though. My brother bought into the culture even deeper, with leather trousers and studded belts. I love this kind of rock.
Advice To A Lover - Unbelievable Truth (sorrythankyou)
There is a fair amount of music that I've made on my iTunes. It keeps it together and available. I guess it's kind of onanistic, but hey, sue me. This period makes me sad. I produced our second album amidst not inconsiderable bad vibes from our (major) record company, and I fucked it up. Not royally, but the paranoia and low self-esteem took a toll that dripped over the album like tar. But in the long run, I still feel proud. I was in a band with my two best friends in the world and we made good music and had some success and pleased some people. I'll put aside my negative feelings and let the positivity flow.
The One I Love (live from McCabe's guitar shop) - R.E.M.
Scratchy bootleg-quality b-side. I don't feel I've ever been constrained by technical requirements. I like to record things well, and I like the sound quality to be the best possible, but I have a deep belief that it's a long way from vital. Spirit, a great song, belief, a performance are all so much more important than which microphone you used on the snare, or whether you mix it on an SSL or a Neve. But then again like much of my life it's a duality, because I can obsess over mix minutiae and microphone placement as well as anyone. Everything in moderation. If the technical aspects delay performance or vibe, you're doing it wrong.
Mirror, Mirror - Dr Dog (Dr Dog)
Was given a copy of this record a couple of years ago by, I think, our friend Chris Trovero in LA (he worked for Epitaph at the time, but he's much more than that). Haven't listened to it that much, but everytime it comes up on shuffle it reminds me that I really should give it more time. I'm going to stop typing and listen to this one.
Always By Your Side (demo) - Andy Yorke
More stuff that involves me. No comment. Except for noting that Andy is a wonderful human being.
I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) - Genesis - Platinum Collection
After stuff I've done the next biggest subsection on my iTunes (and therefore stuff that will come up statistically more often) is Genesis, or Genesis related stuff. Everyone needs an obsession I guess, and Genesis is mine. Particularly I have loads of live bootlegs, and I guess that's a particular aspect of them that informs me and what I do now. They were pretty much always better live than they were on record. It didn't make the records bad at all, but there was an extra vitality live that they never caught (maybe on Genesis and Abacab). I feel the same about the albums I'm making at the moment. They're not perfect. They capture how we are now, and then we go out and play it much better live. I'm proud to be part of the band that I play with at the moment. Seriously.
I think that will probably do for my first foray into this kind of blog. If anyone is curious I am going to continue posting Puritan (my autobiography, which has been described as "shorter than a novel, longer than a pamphlet") but I would like to add relevant photos to it, and certainly for the first few chapters all those pictures of me as a little whippersnapper are stored at home, so until I can get back there and scan some in (April 9th I think we're home) it's going to be on hold.
Saturday 23rd January, 2016
It's been a long time since my last blog. Yeah, sure, I know. Sorry. Just leave it. OK? Something came up yesterday though that seemed worthy of talking about. Apparently it's 10 years since Milow's album The Bigger Picture was released, and album that I produced and played on. I thought it be... read
Saturday 20th September, 2014
Been concentrating on updating the site to include contact links for hiring me as a session drummer. But over the summer I did a couple of shows with my old pals in the Genesis tribute band Los Endos. Here's a couple of drum views of songs from those with... read
Wednesday 18th June, 2014
1989 - 1992: Once Around The Park My dad, still with his eye on solid academic achievement, insisted that I at least consider university. Out of respect I applied for places on a number of courses, but the interview process was somewhat unusual, since the hardening of my ambition to be somehow with... read
Monday 12th May, 2014
Sorry it's been so long since the last time I blogged here. I have been busy, that much is true, but it would be a lie to pretend that was entirely the reason. Many days I wonder the worth of adding to the ever-growing mountain of unsolicited writing out there, of my... read
Friday 25th April, 2014
Hello everyone. Sorry, this blog has been long neglected. My next thing to post was the next chapter of Puritan, but I was waiting until I could get some relevant audio tracks into the computer world, which involved borrowing a DAT machine and finding time between tours to record it and blah... read
Tuesday 29th October, 2013
I was intending my next blog to be another "Bloggin' The Shuffle", but something happened that took me elsewhere. A friend who is studying screenwriting asked me about musical structure. Most screenplays follow a three act format, roughly akin to sonata form in music, and her thought was to compare other forms... read
Thursday 10th October, 2013
Been a while since the last blog. I guess I've been putting this one off because... well it's odd. For starters I'm aware that I would suggest to others not doing this - you let people take what they want from music you make, and your opinion doesn't matter so much it's... read
Friday 6th September, 2013
I said over there on the albums page that my next blog would be my own self-assessment of my solo work, but I think I'm going to postpone that. It's something I struggle with in a way - I want to talk about it, but I would encourage anyone else away that... read
Sunday 11th August, 2013
1985 - 1989: Sentimental Mercenary In A Free Fire Zone After a summer of unpacking boxes and trying to make the new house a home I started at Abingdon School in September 1985. With the determination for morbidity that only a teenager can muster, I hated it and was depressed in a I... read
Thursday 25th July, 2013
Just got a little while in the middle of the night before we leave for Heathrow to start another tour. Although they never stop. It's one continuous tour. But I was having some thoughts about work and working and who does what. I've been both sides of the touring fence multiple times being... read
Thursday 11th July, 2013
As many of you here may know apart from being a drummer I was once a lighting designer, the guy who makes the lights do their thing at a rock show (there's many other kinds of LD of course, but rock was what I did). So with that in my background have... read
Tuesday 4th June, 2013
1982 - 1985: Above The Riverbed The World's Run Dry More gigs, better gigs. After the party we started to get a bit more serious with the school band, or as serious as you can be when you're 12 years old. We called ourselves Nightshade and had a stable lineup of Adrian guitar,... read
Sunday 26th May, 2013
Some things are curious to me. Things which appear to be a lack of analysis, opinions not properly thought through. Then again that sometimes is just me and my Spock-ness, not appreciating the random foible of desire. I read about the band that I play in on the internet. There, I've admitted In... read
Monday 29th April, 2013
Hello from Hamburg! Ich Bein Eine Hamburger. Or something. Got an hour after breakfast on the bus before we have to travel to record a German TV show called Ina's Nacht, so what better way to make GOOD USE of my time than another quick session of bloggin' the shuffle. This off... read
Monday 22nd April, 2013
1971 - 1982: It's Cold Outside, But It Gets So Hot In Here Oh shit. That's mum and dad. Keep your head, don't giggle, just keep tidying up the bottles and cans into the bin bag in the garage. I think they're angry, but I'm finding it curiously hard to read these who... read
Monday 8th April, 2013
So here's another in what I anticipate to be a series. Jeez, what a lot of series we have running - Puritan (to be continues when I get access to my old photos and a scanner, so I can make it a bit more visually interesting), Blogging The Shuffle (which will when... read
Sunday 24th March, 2013
I'm writing this from Shanghai in China, my first visit to this country. I'm not going to give you my impressions. I'm not Michael Palin, nor indeed Bill Bryson (although I can recommend all of Mr. Bryson's travel books as some of the most amusing writing I've ever had the pleasure embarrassingly... read
Sunday 10th March, 2013
Introduction October 12th 2010, Albuquerque, NM, USA I'm 39 and 11 days old, which is clearly much too old to be any kind of musician on the road with a rock band. I'm playing with English musician Frank Turner as a member of his backing band. The distinction is necessary, since things are to... read
Saturday 9th March, 2013
So, the thing is, when I was on tour a couple of years back I wrote a 'book'. It's definitely a 'book' and not a book though. It's an autobiography with the initial intention of a certain angle on the subject, although as it went along the focus drifted a bit. I... read
Monday 4th March, 2013
We started a tour in Northampton, MA on 2nd March and, being as it was not far from his hometown of Springfield, I had the pleasure of hanging out with my friend Mark Mulcahy. His name is not familiar to many, but anyone out there who knows him or his work probably... read
Saturday 2nd March, 2013
I don't really talk about myself much. Not just on the internet, but in life. I have an English paranoia about being seen to complain, or about troubling anyone else ("a friend troubled is a problem doubled", as someone once said to me). But I don't think that it's healthy. Don't me... read
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