Last day of the month and up early (by my standards) for a sesh with Arctic Lake Tony in Sydney. It was a long one today, when you’ve made a record with someone there’s a lot to discuss. But there’s also a lot to think about when you sing, play the guitar in a live setting and today was the day I promised myself that I would restring my Seagull 12 string. It’s been a while and I was showing Stephen in DC To Where I Am Now (the song) the other day and I realised that the strings were in trouble. When you’re not doing regular shows or recording the guitar can go months without new strings and I can’t even remember when I last changed the strings on this guitar. It’s been on planes and been sitting around in the studio, it’s been three months in Portugal, it has in fact been all over Europe. Since there have been no live shows since last year’s European tour and since I’ve been in the studio working on the Space Summit LP, Arctic Lake EP, and the Ahad Afridi LP, it hasn’t had that much to do (lots of competition with other guitars). Since we’ve been in Portugal, we have done four internet concerts as part of the MOAT – Poison Stream launch campaign with me using this guitar. Now we have four more booked in March and April and the guitar pulled me aside the other day and said, “Really?” and when I looked, the guitar was right, the strings were a disgrace.
When Olivia gets some spare time in between projects she will be editing a video I did for our YouTube channel called How To String a Rickenbacker 12 String. You may consider it to be exciting 12 string nerd fodder but I’m sure it will also be an extremely helpful tool. Today’s task of stringing a Seagull 12 string acoustic is a far simpler exercise although I did have to tighten the nut on 11 of the 12 machine heads (details) and in fact today in one unusual moment of distraction I put the ‘B’ strings where the ‘G’s should be, causing untold trouble. The guitar was furious. I haven’t made a mistake like that for years. I felt like an air traffic controller who in one momentary lack of concentration can cause a disaster. I managed to rescue the situation with pliers and perseverance and eventually had the guitar strung up. Usually, I keep the old strings (I don’t know why, I never use them) but when I saw the state they were in and when I saw the looks the guitar was giving me, I just threw them away.
So the guitar was strung and now it was rehearsal time because this coming Saturday we will be doing the first of four internet concerts and as we have had the idea of ‘you send the setlist’ then there’s always songs on there we need to interpret for 12 string, violin and voice. We can’t do everything that’s asked for but we will have a go at anything so we ask people to send a list of 20 songs, maybe we can do half of them and add some others we know. Today we were rehearsing If I Had A Dream from the first MOAT record, changing the key and doing the same with The Lantern from In Reflection. Some of these songs take some working out arrangement-wise, key, violin parts, lyrics, chords and we spent some hours just working on these two songs. We’ll be working through the week in between seshes and French and blog and breathing and getting the MOAT – Poison Stream music and perks completed and sent out.
Liverpool were playing tonight so we watched them beat Sheffield United 0-2 over dinner. My VPN died in the middle and I had to get in touch with Customer Support to get it working again but I got to see most of the game. Good for Liverpool today as Man U and Chelsea drew 0-0 and Leicester lost 1-3 to Arsenal. After that it was straight into a sesh with Doug in Wappingers Falls and trying to connect the organic creating of the music to the technicality of recording it – we can’t all be Todd Rundgren.
Music today started with Rubber Soul (1965) and that spilled over onto Help! (1965) – a get-going Sunday boost with The Beatles never goes amiss. After that, I got a message from BJM Ricky to buy Phil Parfitt’s record, Mental Home Recordings (2020), so I did.
Then I felt like something uncool so I listened to Heart’s Red Velvet Car (2010) and Dreamboat Annie (1975) but meant to listen to Television‘s Marquee Moon (1977) as Tony was talking about turning a young band he’s met and seen in Sydney called The Moving Stills onto Television because he thought they had some guitar connection and of course they’d never heard of them. But anyway, sometimes more easy mainstream music can be relaxing, seventies Rock over the cool people can be just right after a long, long day and I’m 16 hours of non-stop into this one, so let me listen to Heart (the female Zep), it’s great if you like that kind of thing. Ooh baby mama, yeah! In the meantime check out The Moving Stills – positive, melodic, guitar Pop, something new for you, if you like that kind of thing.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.