Yay, I did it, I came top in the French Obsidian League and now I’m in the top Duolingo league, the legendary Diamond League. Of course, being in it and staying in it are two different things and I was making lots of stupid mistakes today, making the same mistake four times but I suppose I’m learning, it’s just a shame that I have to have it beaten into me. Concentration is the hardest thing in this mad world. I was talking to sessioneer Doug about it today. There’s so many distractions, add to that responsibilities and your interests then add up how many years you’ll be alive. It’s probably about now you can forget about your dream of speaking Lithuanian and climbing Mount Everest, not because you can’t achieve those things, it’s just that they’re number 966 and 8475 on your list of things you want to do.
We finished the third Arctic Lake song today, guitar touch up and mix and we will hopefully mix the last song on Tuesday. We’ll be working on one of sessioneer Craig’s songs on Wednesday and Ahad brass on Thursday. It’s a busy week of studio and sessions, we also have campaign responsibilities, especially with the Handwritten & Illustrated Lyrics, which are time-consuming. The lockdown is still going strong and we haven’t heard anything about whether we will be able to travel on December 3rd when it ends. Fingers crossed. Sessions with Arctic Lake’s Tony in Sydney today and Brian in Florida (Doug near Woodstock). I noticed that Brian was sitting outside, here the rain was pouring down and the heater was on, I guess that’s Florida in the autumn.
To everyone that is planning on ordering something from the Indiegogo campaign for the new MOAT record Poison Stream, please do it before December if you can so we have a chance to honour any orders whilst we are still here in Penzance. The campaign ends on December 6th midnight GMT so only about 3 weeks left. The record itself and T-shirts will be coming from our label Schoolkids in the US but Mystery Boxes, Handwritten & Illustrated Lyrics and the first MOAT record will be coming from us here in Penzance so we’d like to send everything out before we leave for Portugal. Postcards we can send from anywhere, might be nice to get one from Portugal. By the way, sorry to see them lose to France yesterday and of course England lost to Belgium, beating them once was a miracle, twice unlikely.
We ran out of veggie sausages today and it’s a big long walk to the only supermarket that sells them, the one outside town. If it’s going to be horrible weather it’s an awful drenching walk, although the sea path will be beautiful. I wonder what we’ll eat in Portugal. Dare and I were laughing today about the scenario of me trying to buy veggie sausages in a Portuguese supermarket. (There’s a crazy English guy asking for veggie sausages!) I shouldn’t generalise, perhaps there’s tons of nice veggie food in Portugal, we’ll see. Probably lots of tomatoes, too.
I’m finding it hard to find time to put records away in the archive and when we leave I don’t want to leave it in a mess. Our friend Aram looks after it for us when we’re gone. He comes in, empties the dehumidifiers, turns the stereo on, has some cosy music time. Dare is also here all the time mixing, working on our projects, so there will be people here. I finally fixed the door handle which has been missing for about six weeks. I’d been meaning to talk to the landlord about it but he hasn’t been well and because it was kind of old looking when it broke I thought I’ll need a time machine to get parts. The day before lockdown I went to the locksmith and he said: “Sure, I can have that part you need by tomorrow”. As he is considered an essential service he stays open so I was able to get the part and install it. It made me wonder about mental health and how bookshops and record stores should be considered essential, it’s not just about your physical health.
Music today has been the reissue and Tony Visconti remix of Metrobloist aka The Man Who Sold The World by David Bowie. It’s not only a different title, it also comes in the cartoon cover on white vinyl with a gatefold and lots of the pics from the photoshoot with Bowie from yet another version of the cover with long curly hair and wearing a flowing dress.
Allegedly the title was a play on Fritz Lang’s Metropolis but Mercury Records changed the title before the release without telling Bowie. The album was released in 1970 in the USA with the cartoon cover. It was released in April 1971 with the dress cover and in 1972 RCA Records reissued it with the black cover which was a reaction to the success of Ziggy Stardust, the cover now sporting a more Ziggy-like Bowie.
It was pre Trevor Bolder so Visconti not only produced but also played bass (Ken Scott engineered, check out the resumé), Mick Ronson played guitar and Woody Woodmansey played drums, The Spiders were about to be unleashed on the world. On this album, there’s not only some great songs but it’s the Bowie debut of Mick Ronson and it’s worth it just for that. It’s quite riffy and Rock but also acoustic and with strings in other places, great melodies and lyrics and Bowie’s ace singing. A must-have album especially in this interesting remix version.