It’s not often that you say ‘Hooray, it’s February 1st’ but today as I walked out into the rain past the two friendly hookers standing outside the front door, into the grey wet street empty of cars at this time of day (4.30 PM) towards the supermarket and the electronics shop, I thought, January has gone, another month of the pandemic is in the past. Olivia felt the same way and when I came back for my sesh with Matt in Brooklyn today we discussed the music and the world, where we are, and how it affects us as people and as creative types. How we need the interaction of people as sounding boards for our creative ideas and how this isolation stops us from meeting new friends, interesting strangers, acquaintances. We need to communicate personally, to discuss and discover and not just through unchallenged anonymous opinion, on the internet. We need to exchange ideas, bounce them backwards and forwards between us in the same room, give them form, test them properly.
The day had started early today for me as I had a sesh with talented guitar player Tim in Sydney at 10 AM and my plan was to shower and get to the shops before the sesh with talented lyricist Matt, but I’d had too little sleep last night so I went back to bed. I was awoken by the sound of the doorbell, it was the postman with a big box sent from Olivia’s Dad in Germany. It was most of the last remaining stock of the first MOAT album, some Celestial Seasonings Tension Tamer tea and my Bose speakers. The last of the first album anywhere in the world, about 35 copies and as we approach the release date of the new MOAT album Poison Stream next week, we will sell these via Bandcamp (autographed if you wish). On Friday, Bandcamp are waiving their fees so that’s a good day to order and if you were interested in the live internet concert series then Friday is the day to also do it through Bandcamp.
João, the man in the electronics shop, came to the rescue again today, explaining why one of the leads that Gerd sent me for my speakers wasn’t working and selling me exactly the right thing. So now I have my Bose portable speakers, relief, a bit of bass coming out making all the difference listening to mixes or just generally listening to music and it will have to do until we get a proper stereo system down here in Portugal. In a perfect world, I’d be here with the archive in a nice big old Portuguese house with a studio, a swimming pool and lots of pets, visitors welcome with their own guest house.
We are just in the process of ordering MOAT – Poison Stream T-shirts, so if you would like one you can order through Bandcamp, state your size and again do it on Friday when they waive their fees. We are still waiting for the album covers stuck in customs. As soon as we get them I will sign them and send them back to Schoolkids to send out to you, we hope the journey back to America isn’t as troublesome as the journey to Portugal.
I was saying to sessioneer Matt today, imagine the material I will have to write about when I can leave these four walls and go farther afield than the left supermarket and the right supermarket. It was so exciting buying a speaker lead in the surprisingly open electronics store today. The problem is that the electronics store is almost next door to the left supermarket so it’s hardly an adventure. If I was a foodie, I would be trying different things from the shelves but I’m not and Olivia isn’t, or perhaps we’d be getting drunk more often but neither of us drinks. So it’s the French, the music, the projects unveiling themselves as the months go by, luckily we put a lot of effort into projects last year so this year can be release year and next year can be gig year and start new projects year, let’s see. For now, as far as writing, it’s me and my imagination.
Music today has been a mixture of things in different circumstances. Over dinner, we listened to The Beatles’ A Hard Days Night (1964). Olivia was about to tell me something when And I Love Her came on and she stopped, too beautiful. Earlier in the day I tested the Bose speakers with something with some bass in it and picked Porcupine Tree’s Blackest Eyes from In Absentia (2002) that led to a Steven Wilson live album Get All You Deserve from 2012, supporting his first two solo albums Insurgentes (2008) and Grace For Drowning (2011). After dinner, I came back into the front room, sat down at the computer, and listened to The Aerovons‘ 1969 album Resurrection. The group split up before the album was released and a classic remained in the vault till 2003 despite it being engineered by Beatles’ engineers Norman Smith, Geoff Emerick, Phil McDonald, and Alan Parsons. It’s a must listen and I’ve talked about it before, you must listen to the title track and tell me which famous song came after it that may just have been its source? Stuck in Beatles mode I looked at my iPod again and thought, McCartney and Wings‘ Back To The Egg (1979), now there’s an album I haven’t heard for a long time. As usual with McCartney, some songs you wonder what he was thinking and others effortless melodic examples of his talents as a writer and a singer.