... and up

Uffington Sunset 2
Originally uploaded by Roostar

Looking forward...

Uffington Sunset 1
Originally uploaded by Roostar
The dayjob has been taking up lots of time this week but I have lots to do elsewhere. I have to re-learn some Soul Beaver songs on a new/old four string bass (which hasn't arrived yet). There are some details and questions to be put on paper for a possible new venture with a friend. There's also the important business of rushing outside to photograph the sunset.


Michael jackson is Dead!

True. This cheery, bearded man from the north of England was a great expert on a range of drinks. I'll remember him best for a short but informative video on how to drink whisky properly. I watched it at my uncle's house about fifteen years ago and haven't forgotten a thing.

Let's all raise a toast to Mr Jackson tonight.


Centrozoon's adventures in the field near my house

Well, ok, maybe not tomorrow.

Last Saturday, after the rehearsal with Soul Beaver I got home and set up a makeshift studio in the nursery. My logic had been - use the nursery because all the soft surfaces will deaden the sound and I'll get a nice, clear recording of my voice. In my rush I forgot that there are no curtains up yet, so I sounded as if I was recording in the bathroom.

And why was I doing this? Because I was taking part in the first ever (as far as I'm aware) audio commentary for a CD. Centrozoon's 'Lovefield' is a beautiful album which I might describe as a soundtrack to a walk through a gallery of super photographs. Not very helpful? Well, Lee Fletcher (Devon based, injured sound wizard) described it as "Bibbiboo drops out of the cult to travel back in time to party with Sylvian and Sakamoto circa 1981, who then collectively project their photo-album onto a futuristic high-definition audio television." Of course, if you don't know Centrozoon's work you'd need some explaining of Bibbiboo; but I'd suggest you do your own research.

Anyway, the conversation went well, with each of us recording our voices so they could assembled into the finished commentary. Needless to say something went horribly wrong and two parts of my contribution were eaten by software nasties. Quite how this will be resolved is beyond me. Maybe a stunt double could read out something that fits with the responses I got from the others. Maybe I just need to spend more time checking everything is working.

Soon- tales of plaster.


Beaver in the sun

On Saturday I had a blast.

In the morning I drove to a popular meat locker/rehearsal room and spent four happy hours playing good music with most of Soul Beaver. Even though I've played these songs a million times I still enjoy the physical (and spiritual) buzz from playing music - whatever it is. This time I had the pleasure of meeting our new keyboard person, Joe. He's into jazz and electronica - which makes him as likely a member of a soul band as me or, indeed, Richard Guitarist. This was also a chance to catch up with my fellow Beaver band mates who have, over the years, become as much like family as friends. RG and I spent a while contemplating an exciting new venture and the sad loss of Joe Zawinul.

When I got home there was further fun to be had. But I'll write about that tomorrow.


9/11 8:30

It's six years on from 9/11 and it still feels surprisingly raw. I spent the day shopping for olive oil in Florence and watched the events unfold on television. The evening was surreal. A concert at Sting's house with everyone feeling a little numb. Music did a very good job of healing that night but, like I said, it's still quite raw.

This is all tempered by the thought of how many innocent civilians die around the world (and especially in Iraq) every day.

Today is also a somber day because we've lost Joe Zawinul. I had the Weather Report album 8:30 on vinyl and cassette (which I wore out) not long after it came out. It introduced me to the bass sound of Jaco Pastorius, to Peter Erskine's drumming and to the amazing sound of a fusion band at full tilt.



A full on return to the dayjob today coincided with a thumping headache.

On Saturday though I went to Twickenham and watched the Police in concert. Mistake number one was expecting to find much vegetarian food in a rugby stadium. Mistake number two was expecting the gig to be anything other than wonderful. From the sight of Stewart Copeland banging a gong to his emotional claim that London was his town it was a blast of three great musicians being, as Annie Nightingale once put it, a band with three front-men.

The quality of the songwriting was as obvious as the musicianship. The mark of these songs was that they had been in my life for nearly thirty years and yet here they were sounding fresh and full of life.

So it's going to be an interesting week musically. I still have the Police tunes rushing around my head even though I spent last night relishing the sound of Quodia. As well as this I've been a constant visitor to Centrozoon's Lovefield album (which I'm going to be talking about on Saturday afternoon) but have to re-learn the Soul Beaver set list for Saturday morning.


Obvious observations

I've been reminded of a few things today:

A lot of television is rubbish.
Parenting is a tough but rewarding job.
I love my family.
Music is a healing power.
The keys are in my briefcase.

Managed to catch up with lots of friends recently. One from a time before my wife was born, some from previous bands, some willing to make a fry-up (including veggy version for me) on Sunday night to the delight of J and I.

Music news, of various hues, soon.

Today's picture is a flower from my parents' garden.