It is hard sometimes to keep focused on music when so much of my time is spent not doing it. The year has begun as an electrical nightmare. Everything electrical I touch seems to break. This includes my speakers for my computer making hearing mixes very difficult, my freeview box, my interface which was broken disabling me from doing any singing at home and my computer which I have replaced with an Apple on a monthly fee! The last thing I am hoping is to move away from the Casio (since they do not want to endorse me despite repeated requests!!) onto a lighter more portable keyboard that I can at least carry. My camera is broken as well ever since I went into the Butterfly Pavillion at Jimmy’s Farm which caused the lens to fog up. Every so often the image goes pink and then freezes. This is all the stuff I have in the world. I honestly believe my electricity from my body just blew them all up.
As I watch the big white cat prowl across the adjacent wall opposite my attic window creating a huge tiger like shadow, I wonder what this year will bring but I am fairly hopeful that as a rabbit, this year will be good.
The mixes from America sound amazing and this is definitely the best work I have done. The songs are upbeat and the production really interesting thanks to David Baron. There are a lot of live instruments, great players whom I have mentioned before, and I have additional vocals to do to keep up with it all hence the set up of David’s beautiful microphone once again with the interface which I will be working on tomorrow and the coming days.
Musically I was really excited to see Viv Albertine again who writes wicked songs last week and a huge pleasure to see my friend Jude again and members of The Dogbones. I have also been listening to Dresden Dolls, Robert Plant, Bob Dylan again and again and again and again. I never tire of Bob and of course Jarvis Cockers show on BBC6 still my highlight of the week on the radio in between KCRW sessions which sees David Lynch on Morning Comes Electric this week. I will definitely be tuning into that, I also saw my friend Anthony Phillips who is a great inspiration.
I managed to sneak off on my morning off to see the Diaghilev- The Golden Age of The Ballet Russes 1909- 1929 exhibition at the V& A. Unfortunately no live film footage exists of this great man but there were photographs of him with Nijinksy but it was fantastic to see the costumes, artefacts and reworks of Ballets Russes from such an extraordinary period of history and even his accounts were on display as he largely spent his time in hotel rooms and had few personal belongings himself. He managed to tour and make money!! I particularly liked a rework of a 1960s party based on some ballet I did not know. It was so funny and it was so 60s; the clothes and the moves, the haircuts, and the architecture! And the footage and pieces from ‘The Blue Train’ the huge Picasso set piece in the final room.
I also went to see an exhibition entitled ‘Analog’ at the Riflemaker. It depicted the photographs of Richard Nicholson who decided to shoot the 204 remaining dark rooms that existed in London in the Summer of 2007. When he completed the project three years later only 4 existed. The end of one age and the beginning of the other; I heard Jack White on the radio this morning. He has recorded Wanda Jackson recently and he doesn’t even have a mobile phone. He only records tape to tape and insists the digital recording process cannot record like tape can.
Unfortunately, it is very expensive to record on tape these days, but I am hoping, with the new record, that the fusion of analogue and digital will be balanced.
I think it is succeeding.
I am feeling nostalgic this January. I have been through my old letters and things I hold onto in a box in Suffolk this Christmas and try to decipher some clues.
Also I can’t help but look at old photographs from years ago and I try and remember the smell of those days and hear the conversations. I can’t quite remember. I suppose we are not supposed to get back there.
I imagine, when I walk down the street in Shepherds Bush how I can hardly remember now what it was like at Shepherd’s Bush before WESTFIELD. The shopping mall from some kind of hell full of shops I hate. I have admittedly been in there but only briefly. I went for sushi once. Anyway, there were all these strange looking dishes swirling round and round and round a conveyor belt, dry and tasteless under dome like plastic bowls. A futurist vision that might have been drawn up in Tomorrow’s World, a reality but already retro. Up and down the escalators I go trying to find the exit, slipping on the floors, invisible.
Anyway, I am all for change, I just have to change myself; I guess that’s what it’s all about. You can’t stay the same, we never do and it can’t stay the same, it never does.
The album will be finished very soon. I am thinking what to call it at the moment . I think the album will find light of day and hopefully an audience. The songs are what counts and at the end of the day that’s all I’m really interested in, with David Baron, my writing partner.
I am very sad to hear the loss of so many in January.