Monthly Archives: December 2023

Is There Hope For The World in 2024?

Here then is a perhaps trivial matter perhaps some might say? Something for you dear reader to think about. I am not so very young so my future is limited. To me recent world events in the last 4 years have been very disheartening. Everything to me feels as though it is going backwards. More polarisation and deep divisions and a lot of “othering” and scapegoating. Society certainly seems to be in so many respects going boldly back to the future, but rather in a rusting Ford Popular than a flying DeLorean. Even though many steps forward have been made there seems to a groundswell of movement to try to turn back the clock.

I am gearing up for a Happy New Year salutation however. With the usual attempted reset. I will try and creep up on it so as not to startle it if at all possible, though if its as skittish as 2023 that may well be too much of a stretch frankly.

Here is a new song:
Going To Hell anyway

Indeed and forsooth. 
A Picasso and a Donkey.

Nerd fact of the day: I am still using a guitar lead that I picked up off the stage at Hammersmith Odeon after a Mick Ronson gig. Its never gone crackly of worn out…. A friend pointed out he won’t be asking for it back now though. I definitely feel Christmased, as in beaten into a festive submission. Ho Ho Ho we have ways of making you merry. Well gov its not working on me. I do feel distinctly non-merry. Perhaps even more so than usual for me at this time of year. The weather is not helping either of course. In my slightly enforced isolation I have been feverishly slaving away attempting to be creative.

And There’s More, Because There Always is..

Gosh a mighty, forsooth tis Christmas time again. Cease-fire per chance. That would be nice don’t yah think. Will the bombs be falling on Christmas day this year? Looks like it. Somebody prove me wrong. Please. At the time of writing they are. I am trying to not think about it, but that is really hard. I watched the Christmas Dr Who, fun but very silly as you might imagine. Also likely to upset the the GB News fans of the J the Mog and assorted gammons. It will be fun to see the reviews, though most so far have been quite positive. I opened a couple of low key Christmas presents. Its hard going though with no social stuff for a while.

Christmas is always hard work for me. But it doesn’t last too long really. I am starting to get that loose wire in the junction box feeling as if something is shorting out, sparking, leaking to earth or needs tightening up or possible re-soldering. I am chasing my tail a bit at the moment to be honest. I have just been to put the rubbish out and its very quiet here. “Still” as they used to say. I have had a few Christmas messages on various WhatsApp groups and the usual Facebook stuff. On days like this it is easy though to feel like an outsider I find. Necks aching now too. I have fallen behind with my exercise routine too which is very important for me to keep mobile and keep certain pains at bay. Having taken a short stroll, gosh it is warm for December, but very, very quiet. Also I seem to be suffering from slight gastric over indulgence too as well, and my stomach has made conversational sounds. Though I really am not the type for gluttony in the main.

Addendum Pre Christmas

I had a thought about music. or more specifically I think as an experiment I may try and write/create/record songs that are a little more obvious in 2024. I have have tried this on one number recently and it was well received, Also I tried out the vocal effect box on my last track which was a bit weird and not my best effort but the vocals worked in the context of the music in terms of production very well. Working on you own gives freedom but it can also lead to dead ends and a lack of connection to the common experience. have been carrying on as per normal today, mostly music related as you might expect. My energy is a tad depleted to put it mildly. Sometimes in artistic and creative terms you get to a point where you feel like you are just chasing your tail.

At the End of the Day

Its a Violin and Orchestra thing, (fake orchestra as I couldn’t get a real one in my bijou studio room) or on the staircase like Joe Meek 🙂

I have just been figuring out the sampling function on my new keyboard. Its very basic but I did manage to get it going and it might be useful once in a blue moon.

A friend asked about bass as they play a little bit and there were asking for advice. Always dangerous, especially asking me about. I also play bass but not often and hardly ever live. But despite not being an authority on such matters I proffered the following. Some bass parts are almost a melody. The best ones are often a counter melody. But equally well there is a lot of root and 5th stuff. Motown often was just a root note played very rhythmically and percussively with a pick. Rock bands (60s and 70s)often had a lot of movement in the bass. PM played a lot of bass parts that were “tunes” in Beatles songs. Anything goes as long as the phrasing is right with a good feel. So a song mighty have root notes then a walk up or down to the Chorus , and maybe something like a counterpoint thing in the bridge. But double stops should be used with care as should arpeggios generally speaking. As to what is correct? Well that’s a matter for who ever wrote the tune or is leading the band…. Jazz bass walks a lot obviously. What’s correct is what serves the song. Some songs almost have the melody played an octave or two down. Some bands the bass just plays one note in the chord and that’s that, (usually with the bass drum). Piano often has contrapuntal movement in the left hand. So what maybe just do whatever you think works and hopefully everyone else will think it works too. With no disrespect to bass players generally, for simpler music you don’t need to be a genius. Just feel the music.

We carry on as normal at Christmas pretty much but have a veggie Christmas Dinner of sorts, open a couple of presents. Maybe watch a daft film if there is one that appeals to both of us. So very low key this year. That’s Ok really though.

My life is fairly staid these days. Making music at home for online distribution. Playing live a bit and just rolling along with no particular ambition. When I am not depressed its more than enough for me really now. I know I couldn’t gig the way we used to as I don’t have the same stamina. That doesn’t mean I can’t do things, but a more measured approach seems to work. Enjoying what I can do and not getting too down if I have a bad day. or even week which can happen. I am now the same age Vicky Martin was when she had the quadruple bypass op and I fid I just cant compete with people in there early 40s anymore in terms of energy, (mental or physical) so a bit of coming to terms is required. The incident with my eye was a real reminder that I am ageing. In 2022 I was trying every possible musical opportunity and it got frustrating in the end. This year I had to an extent given up and its worked out OK mostly. Next year is as ever in the lap of the gods of course, If I am spared…..