Thursday, July 28, 2016

More change

And this one is odd. I've started to think I've got it wrong about CD's, and remasters. I thought that a remaster couldn't be anything but an improvement, but I've just had to go out and buy a dozen original Genesis albums, as the remastered CD's were just awful. Original CD's give me the chance to hear things as I did, when I first heard the albums. Am I just growing old? Or do I crave that link to my past?
I need to delve deeper. I'll report back.

Monday, June 06, 2016

There's always a reason...

....and it does tend to be the band.
We've just finished a run of four shows: St.Albans, Manchester, Southend, Twyford. I love getting back out there again - indeed, I seem to love it more as the years pass - but it's a lot of hard work.
I don't just mean the physical effort of playing, but just organising everything. I end up being, literally, two people. There's the person I actually am - living my life, posting on facebook, picking the kids up from school, cooking, cleaning, tidying the house. Then there's the person who writes all of the facebook/twitter/instagram for the band, and manages logistics for the tour. The two personae are so different that they tend to repel each other, slightly. And overall, it means that actually being IN the band (is that person number three??) is almost impossible to contemplate. All this means I find rehearsing a real struggle. I can't compartmentalise the specifics of what I have to do onstage, as I'm too busy thinking of whether i've a) cooked a meal for the family, or b) whether I've booked hotels for the tour.
So it's nice to decompress, after a tour. That's what today is all about.

Friday, May 13, 2016


I do love it, when albums reappear, in my life. Not only that, but when they are much, much better than you remembered. Case in point: "Music For Pleasure", by the Damned. The standard critical response is that it's a terrible album - a misfire after the sheer brilliance of "Damned Damned Damned"
Well, I'm listening to it again - and it's absolutely fantastic. It's aged so much better than you might have thought. The production is a little thin, and the vocals don't really gel with the tracks as well as they could - but apart from that, it's great. This is going to be stuck to Tidal, for the foreseeable future.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Hold on, where did the time go?

It's been - well, it's been busy.
I made a video for the new single, which was a somewhat tortured process, but ultimately rewarding. I used Rotor, which is a truly revolutionary way of allowing artists to make video content - I just need to practise a little more! Hopefully, I'll get that chance - the plan is to release visual montages for each of the three tracks on the forthcoming EP. So, one down, two to go.
Apart from the Joneses - change has been progressing, as ever. I'm a little lighter now, which is nice, I was a little flabby at the start of the year. I look back on some of the photos of myself in Tokyo, and wince. I'm about half a stone lighter now, which is great. A start. I've been exercising, and eating better, and the drop in alcohol consumption must have helped too.
One of the nice things about reducing my alcohol intake has been the return of my senses. I can taste, and smell things with greater clarity -  which was a huge surprise. I'm not complaining though, at this time of year, there's an ozone freshness to the air, and the smell of flowers, grasses-  even weeds, can be quite overpowering.
I'm drinking all of that in, instead.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016


I vanished for a few days.
Y'know, after a few years where I really didn't bother at all, I'm sure it's nothing, to some of you. But it does feel odd now, to me. I like how that's changed. I've got a sense of responsibility back, for this little blog. I must take care of it, as it bumps along the bottom, of a web that doesn't really care too much. If I don't take care of it - who will?
Anyway. What's been happening? Well, my ligaments are still aching. It's been going on for a few months now, and I'm getting tired of it. I had a brief interlude where what felt like  dislocated bone in my hand reset itself - but the pain is till there. I have more movement than I did, so I'm hoping it is just ligaments. We'll see. If it doesn't calm down any further by next week, a visit to the hospital may be called for.
Changes to my life? It's time for more exercise, I think. It's been too long, and I was getting rather rotund, at the start of the year. the lack of booze over the ensuing months has certainly helped, but I can, and will do more.
For now, it's been swimming, but I'll expand that to cycling, soon.
Without falling off, obviously.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Cognitive Dissonance.

Well, this certainly brings back some memories. A hotel, just off Times Square in NYC. A boy who thought he owned the town, who walked through those streets like he was born to do it. The shops full of Walkmans, discmans, hyper colour t-shirts. New York was a riot of colour, and excitement.
Breakfast was at the Amsterdam diner, on Amsterdam Avenue, every day. Two eggs over easy, bacon on the side, whole wheat down. Fuel to kill the previous night's hangover.
And there was music, everywhere. I was plugged into my Walkman, 24-7. Failing that, the tour bus stereo was always on. I just ...devoured music at that point. Ingesting the sounds like I was with all the other substances flying around me.
I would run down to Tower, and restock, whenever i could. This is the opening track from the Wim Mertens album "A Man Of No Fortune And With A Name To Come". I bought it, ran back to the room, and there was an impromptu, rather hazy party, while this played in the background. I'm going to gloss over the details, it's for the best.
I miss New York.

Chrome Life

I do all of my work, most of my blogging - in fact, pretty much everything on Chromebook. Thinking about it now, it fits into the change I've been trying to achieve. It's lighter, cheaper, simpler. It's a rationalisation of my tech settings.
I like that I can search for simpler solutions: is there a chrome app instead of software? is there a cloud-based storage answer? I've changed a lot of my previous habits: chiefly, I no longer rely on huge storage-based software like iTunes and iPhoto. Google photos has sorted all my photos, and cured my need for a huge hard drive. iTunes? Well, it just feels like bloatware now, and I only really use it for organising files within Rekordbox.
I've had a macbook air, but just stopped using it. My iPad? That's just for playing pinball. I do use the iPhone 5s for most of my mobile needs, but the Chromebook really is the hub for everything.

I tripled my ad earnings with Adsense!

Yes, that's right! My balance is now 23 pence - that's up from 8 pence.
I have no idea what I'm going to do with all that money. I may retire. If anyone wants me, I'll be in the Bahamas.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016


Since I started looking to see if I could change, be a nicer person, I've been trying to let go of some of my anger. Anger isn't a great thing for me - it feels destructive, and negative, and it doesn't energise me in any way whatsoever.
For me, change is about trying to retain, and then own, control over myself. I should be the one in charge, yet so much of life sometimes feels a little like...drift. And realising this has really helped.
Example - you're sitting in traffic, and get to a narrow point in the road, only one car can get through. You stop, let the guy at the other end have his turn. He drives past - and doesn't wave, doesn't acknowledge you at all, doesn't say thanks. Happens all the time to me, especially in London. Drivers can be dicks, basically. You sit there, cursing under your breath: "great!, yeah, thanks very much - nice one". Black waves of anger, crashing around the car.
Happened again today, and before all the usual feelings boiled up, I realised I'd passed over control of this situation to the other guy. I was waiting for validation of my kindness. When it didn't arrive, I wondered why I'd bothered in the first place. Then, I thought - well, if he doesn't acknowledge what I've done, does that negate my kindness? No. Only if I let it.
And I realised I didn't want that to happen. If I'm in charge, I want to know that kindness, even if it's ignored, is still kindness. The focus shifted back to me, and I felt good about my actions, no matter what the results were.
It's a small step, but it feels bigger than that, somehow.
I'll run with this one, see what happens.