Thursday, 29 January 2009

Sleeve Notes for new Album "Bare Bones"

On listening to the first couple of tracks of Bare Bones I doubt you'll be clicking the iTunes buy button straight away.

The production is basic, to say the least, the vocals are often overwhelmed by the guitar and vice versa. Many of the tracks are short, have untidy endings, lack a "bridge" or "middle eight" or even a chorus!

This is my "back catalogue", my history. Many of these songs were recorded over ten years ago at 3am using one basic microphone and an old Mac. An audio notebook of ideas and inspiration.

But there are songs, oh yes, and that's what I want people to hear. Naive perhaps, basic even.

The alternative would have been to leave them, let them rest on a hard drive until the Mac eventually dies. But then what would have been the point? I still play many of these songs; I will often take parts from songs, a chorus, intro or theme and use them in a new composition.

So these songs are footprints, the tracks of my journey to the here and now.

No vocoders, no auto tune or expensive production or mastering.

Have a listen, you may even remember hearing one for the first time at that gig 8 years ago with that guy you didn't know in that dodgy Soho club you went to just the once to check it out but never returned. Or you may have been round my flat one night after the pub and cajoled me into playing something.

Or, of course, you may be listening for the first time in which case, don't judge too harshly as what you are listening to are just the "Bare Bones"

See what I did there?
Original artwork is by my good friend Charles Olsen

Monday, 26 January 2009

Victorian Farm

I just wanted to mention this BBC show. You can pretty much guess the format. People live and work as if they are in Victorian times. Pretty standard format except that this show is fantastic.

The people living this "dream" consist of two enthusiastic 20 something student types and possible the best example of "young crone" you are ever likely to see. They are not celebrities, they all get on, they do not moan about doing without flat screen tvs or microwave ovens. This makes the show interesting as instead of learning about "relationships" and how mad and vile people can be, the audience is entertained.

Highlights of last Saturdays show include; a fat man and a thin man cut down a tree, a man makes a basket, "crone" takes a bath (steady!), man waterproofs boots, thin man putting his hand up a sheep, ferreting and shooting pheasants.

It reminded my a little of the old schools show "How We Used To Live" without the crap child actors.
I realise that this is show will not have mass appeal (no celebs) but I applaude the BBC for putting it on prime time.
I also realise I could have been the only person to watch it....

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Podcast no 7

This week, amongst other things, I rant about buying a fridge at Comets, play some fantastic music by Matt Stevens and Simon Javens, a new advert for those great folk at Hayward Guitars in Winchester, talk a little about Pure Acoustica and launch the very first "Twitter News"

Monday, 12 January 2009

What is a Podcast?

I sent this as an email to members of my mailing list as I had people asking me what a podcast was.
Apologies if you find it a little patronising.

Ok in a nutshell a podcast is a piece of audio, usually speech perhaps with some music. Like a radio broadcast. This piece of audio has to be posted on the web so that people can hear it. You can download this podcast to your computer so that you can either add it to your MP3 player (iPods etc) or play it later. If you have an application called iTunes then you can use that to download it. You can subscribe to a podcast so that every time a new one appears, you will automatically download it.
You can also just listen to it from its source (stream).
My latest podcast has just gone live. You can stream it OR download it from It's about 17 minutes long and has me chatting a bitr and playing 2 songs from some fantastic independent artists that I have discovered.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Podcast number 6

After many failed, drunken attempts last night I have finally recorded and edited Podcast number 6 of Is This Thing On. 

People I mentioned were, in no particular order Matt Blake, Matt Stevens, Bete' deJour, Watch With Mothers, Joe Potter, Joe Woodham

All of whom are fantastic and wonderful. You should click on their name and find out all about them immediately.

As I said I will try to record another by next sunday at the latest.

I'm also planning a blog entitled "Why it's all still Thatcher's Fault" that should be ready by February. A non musical political rant. Bet you can't wait eh?