Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Visit to the Sixties

On Thursday, I had the opportunity to visit the nineteen sixties. Needless to say, I grabbed it with both hands.

This story begins (for me) in November 2009, when I answered an ad on from a chap called Richard who wanted people to join his latest project of producing a band that sounded like Can, or like Metal Machine Music etc. Now, although I neglected to blog any of this, my friends know that, for the last year, I've been taking every opportunity I can to perform.

I've been singing with the Swamp Band since March 2009. I've also done some solo performances including an acapella rendition of Tom Waits' God's Away on Business at the Royal Festival Hall. In November, I also bought my first instrument, a stick dulcimer, which is not only the easiest instrument to play, but also one of the most versatile (at least in my hands). I bought it because acapella gigs are hard to come by whereas if one can accompany oneself, it's much easier.

Anyway, I answered Richard's ad and he began working on ways we could perform. And on Monday he told us all were gigging on Thursday. The gig was at which is where I found myself suddenly in the sixties.

The atmosphere was a cross between Radio three and a commune. I loved it. And we played as if we were the Velvet Underground and we were part of Andy Warhol's Exploding Plastic Inevitable. I have no idea yet how good we were but I enjoyed myself and even got to pose for photos. After 49 years, for the first time, I felt cool!

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Let's Storm the Charts

Well to begin with, before I forget, here's where to go.

Right, so why are you going there? Just because I said so? No... because this group on facebook is doing everything in its power to break record companies' oligopoly of the music you get to hear on the radio, on TV and anywhere else that the charts are used as some kind of barometer of youthful taste.

I'm hoping this is a worldwide phenomenon, not just an English one and so, I've invited all of my facebook friends to join, not just those in the UK. Later, I shall invite all my Myspace friends as well... and my local newsagent (hallo Harry), the landlord of the Rose and Crown, all the messagegroups I'm still using (which means mustardland right now) and anyone else I can think of.

This is a spur so, once I've got a better recording of Armageddon Ball, or maybe any recording at all of one of my other songs, I'll put it on itunes and Amazon and put my name forward (although it'll have to be good to compete with Joy Shannon's band (once you're in the group, you can find a link. She's good)).

One word of warning though. No covers so, although I think Gemiinii Riisiing's version of Don't Fear the Reaper is awesome, she'd have to nominate another track. Likewise, I'm hoping to see nominations for Playing Rapunzel, The Sharron McLeod Fauxtet, and the Pennebakers as well.

Good luck everyone.