31.1.09

Un Dia

What a great day. I've finished the album and enjoyed the process. I've also been using Twitter all day to send out updates to anyone reading. As well as this I've played some bass, had several tea and cake breaks (exercise calls) and even heard the first Podcast From the Yellow Room by Sid Smith - which I highly recommend. Now shattered and ready for bed.

30.1.09

Just when you thought...

Tomorrow I put the finishing touches to my new album under the Spingere name. It's taken over a year of late night recording sessions, editing, mixing, throwing out, re-recording and general mucking about to get it finished.

Just before going to bed tonight I became aware of NPR's RPM challenge. To record an album of original material in February. So, of course, I've entered the challenge. A new album in 28 days.

Yikes.

28.1.09

Through the fog

Back home after a day at the dayjob and a night of playing music.

Title, tracklisting and graphics are all in place for the new album. More concrete news this weekend.

26.1.09

Announcing the announcement

With about 98% certainty I can say there is going to be an announcement about the release of the new Spingere album with the next seven days. But for now I need sleep.

Wooo! zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

23.1.09

Return of the Dayjob

It's been a dayjob-centric week, this week. Busy, busy, busy.

So, although I've done no work on the album I have been editing in my head and arranging a few surprises for the months ahead.

I've also managed to keep up the 365 challenge, spurred on a lot by good pal Richard Guitarist, who bet me I wouldn't complete it. That pretty much guarantees I will.

Also, this week's Juana Molina fix has come form listening to Son and Segundo while marking work, and listening to this excellent show on WNYC.

18.1.09

Quiver

A wonderfully full day yesterday. After breakfast, Freya and I went swimming and then managed a little while back at home before going to Oxford. We were heading for Jamie's Italian, which is the Italian restaurant set up by Jamie Oliver. The reason for being there was to celebrate the birthday of super-pal, singer and all round good person, Emma. We met up with her, Richard Drummer, Dave Trombonist, his wife and son. Freya could have been calmer (which is to say she was a handful throughout the entire meal) but we all had a good time. The food, service and general ambiance were excellent - and the price was very reasonable.

After two hours of celebrating, squirming around and some eating we went to Borders for a trawl through the shelves. Then it was time to go home where I gave her a bath, put her to bed and looked forward to an evening of trying to stay awake. A great day.

I did manage to edit a few pieces of music and re-work a few pieces that aren't going on the album. By the time I'd finished I had a second album of music I was also (now) happy with. Ah. Now what?

Finally this week I got excited about some software that hasn't even been released yet and an album that isn't yet available.

But... I did catch a few minutes of John Adam's 'Doctor Atomic' on Radio Three and thought I'd hear the whole thing on the BBC's Listen Again service. Except, I have just discovered it's one of the few things you can't listen again to. Bugger!

14.1.09

Got the horn?


14th January
Originally uploaded by Roostar
After a relaxing weekend (feeding ducks in the park with Freya) I felt crushed yesterday. Slowly spiraling down from quite-with-it to knackered in a few hours. Why? I'd been drinking de-caf instead of normal coffee. Could that really be the explanation?

I still haven't finished the new album but I'm very close. Experiments with the new pedal board and writing a short piece for a friend's birthday have got in the way. I have the luxury of a whole 24 hours to get it done coming up soon though.

Looking forward to some upcoming celebrations and a new, if slightly bonkers photographic idea. Today's picture is of one of the horns of my Warr Guitar.

6.1.09

365 (or maybe 17)

Eagle eyed readers will notice a new link down there on the left. I've started a 365 project on Flickr and this is the link to it. The main 365 project on Flickr asks people to post a self portrait for each day of the year - but really... no. So instead I'm going to post a picture a day of anything that catches my fancy. If it all goes horribly wrong I'll rename the set or pretend it was all a mistake or just delete everything and never mention it again.

I love taking pictures and these days I almost always have a camera to hand. The only problem is that I work somewhere where photography is effectively illegal. Hmmmm.

Let's see what happens.

4.1.09

Bangkok

Coffee-housing is the first album I made under the Spingere name which I felt happy to release. Although I did release it as a download only which means the few people who might want to buy it probably thought twice about getting it.

If that weren't enough I did no promotion and even failed to send hard copies out to anyone. Amazingly sales are picking up, it has recouped it's costs (admittedly not much) and today I even sold a copy in Bangkok. Who the heck bought it?

Soon a new Spingere album will be out there and maybe this time I'll make more effort to sell it. Maybe.

3.1.09

Thump!

For Christmas my sister in law bought be a CD of acoustic singer songwriters of the female variety. I played it in the car and enjoyed hearing some new songs. When I finally got home I picked it out of its case and put it into the laptop with the aim of burning it onto the iPod. But no, horror and misery ensued. I had inadvertently picked up a CD shaped paper insert too (static electricity has a downside it turned out) and both CD and paper went into the laptop. The computer then made a pathetic chocking noise, over and over again, trying to eject the disc. This went on until I was forced to take the laptop apart to remove the foreign body (hint: don't "removing foreign body from laptop" into Google - it doesn't help). But wait, further frustration. There were about 12 screws to undo to get to the CD drive but the twelfth screw wasn't budging.

I spent days with the computer switched off (I couldn't hear that sound without feeling sad and annoyed). Finally, I switched it on to back up recent work before any further fiddling around happened. In a moment of ... let's call it 'focused thought' I hit the laptop on top of it's drive and after a short "purrrrghhhhh" sound, out popped the CD and paper insert.

We're all much better now.

Tomorrow, tales of new music and a much more successful technical moment.

2.1.09

Who?

Christmas has been enjoyable but tiring. Lots of visits to family and some grisly nights of coughing and crying form Freya have left me with little energy. On Boxing day morning at 4:00am we were all up watching snowboarding (there wasn't a lot of choice) and the only full night's sleep so far happened last night.

That said, it's already proving an exciting year musically - and not just because both Richard Guitarist and myself received Stylophones as Christmas presents. I'm taking up an odd, last minute challenge of a musical nature tonight and so have to be off quicker than I thought. But here we are again, and this year, I feel, has a welcome, optimistic feel about it. That might only be in the world of music, but surely that's enough for now.

Quickly though, those of you with access to the BBC iPlayer, go to here and enjoy a terrified sounding host and some stirring music.