Sunday roasting, well it wasn’t actually that hot but we were definitely in southern Europe in August and our flat has no A.C. and seems to store the heat, perhaps because it’s on the fifth floor. Sunday generally starts with a midday sesh with Tony in Sydney who tells me that Sydney is entering its worst pandemic period after being less affected than the rest of us like New Zealand. A nice surprise in my inbox this morning was a picture (see below) of Arktik Lake’s drummer Nigel Macara as a member of Tamam Shud in 1973. Nigel was wishing other member Tim Gaze a happy birthday. I didn’t get out of the house today between seshes with Arktik Lake Tony and Rajan in Brooklyn with Liverpool playing a friendly game with Bilbao at Anfield which I watched like a superfan on LFCTV. High-quality coverage, cameras and commentators and presenters, but why wouldn’t it be that good? A major team, they have the fans and money and it came across with all the bells and whistles of major networks. The Olympics have finished and football is back.
Olivia went out today to meet two girls from the expat site and as she came in I remembered I hadn’t been out. That one walk around the Marquês square for 10 minutes would make all the difference but it’s hard to break away from the world you’re in even when the world outside of you has better medicine. It’s that whole thing of feeling better after you’ve done something that you didn’t want to do. Exercise is like that, you don’t feel like it but always feel better when you’ve done it. It’s back to the endorphins, although I’m not sure a slow shuffle around the park releases endorphins but it does prod your brain into wakefulness, makes you notice the world for all its good and bad. Not that I had the chance to execute that short mix of nothing and everything today, being thrust into the presence of strangers, people I won’t ever talk to or ever know.
I spoke to Space Summit Jed in Minneapolis tonight, his cat Eugene was chasing from one window to the next following the squirrels outside. Jed was allergic to cats until they got Eugene, a long-haired fluffy black beast that obviously also held the antidote in its fur. Because that’s how it works, right? Like the vaccine, they give you the bad stuff so your body can build up a resistance to it which it wouldn’t be able to do if it just charged into the room of your body unannounced and started eating all the cakes and when the cakes are gone, the party’s over.
I also spoke to my old Swedish friend Andreas tonight in Gävle in Sweden. Time has flown by and we’d lost touch but one set of strange circumstances led to another and we ended up having a long talk about the mess, the music and working together in the future. Andreas is a great engineer, mixer, producer and like me takes on different roles depending on the circumstances. He helped me finish Hanging Out In Heaven all those years ago and we recorded Box Of Birds and After Everything Now This (mostly I think) in his studio in Gävle. We also worked on three albums together that I produced, Swedish singer-songwriter Håkan Ahlström who sadly died and who first introduced me to Andreas, a Swedish band called Gentlemen and an English guitarist who had been living in America and recorded in Sweden. The only reason I knew that Andreas had contacted me today was because Olivia and I were trying to figure out why the vaccination app wouldn’t download onto my phone. I thought it might be full and she went into my old Virgin email account and deleted three years of newsletters, that’s how long since I’d been there. For some reason today I clicked on it and there was a message from Andreas, sent to the old unused address. In the event of the studio with Dare closing down in England, this opened the future back up for the sessioneer projects and anything else. Strange how the world turns sometimes.
Music today came about after a conversation with Arktik Lake Tony about the direction of a new song. He mentioned King Hannah who he had originally turned me on to and who I can highly recommend. Amazingly their debut EP is still available on Amazon and I would encourage you to snap it up whilst you still can. It’s like a more guitar-based, moody, softly swirling, less Americana Mazzy Star. The EP is called Tell Me Your Mind And I’ll Tell You Mine (2020). Buy the vinyl now. They have just released a cover of Springsteen’s State Trooper from Nebraska (1982).
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