Monday, 26 December 2011

lazy boxing day extravaganza of eating and TV


Look at that, two blog posts in two days, as my actual mailing list lies neglected. I'll sort that out sometime soon, it's just easier to post tiny status updates on Facebook and Twitter than sitting down and engaging my brain and telling you all about things in detail. Especially when there's nothing to tell in detail.

Yep, my plans for 2012 are hazy, but there are couple of nailed-on facts: there'll be a second album (my playlist currently consists of fourteen unmixed songs, and we're just getting started) and there'll be a few smaller releases (EP, singles, free downloads, splits and so on) before the year is out. There'll be a tour when I can, and if I can I'll hopefully be re-pressing some of the older stuff to coincide, given that This Is Not What You Had Planned is sold out, there are only two copies of the Exclamation At Asterisk Hash split left with the distributors as I type this, and until the album is re-pressed (if, indeed, it is) I have limited merch to sell. Plus, you know, people do seem to want it.

Of course, if that's to happen it'll mean a little work; the original label Broken Tail Records has only one release left before it shuts down, so it would involve setting up a new imprint, finding distribution and blahblahblah now I'm thinking out loud.

So there are the plans for 2012, laid out before your very eyes. There'll be a few shows announced before too long which will see the new material start being road-tested. There'll probably (finally) be t-shirts and all that nonsense.

But for now it's me, my parents, and Goodnight Mr Tom. So this is Christmas.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

merry christmas, one and all

Hey all,

So, it's Christmas! The tour is over, we're waving goodbye to 2011, and I have spent a nice relaxing day with the family. In a couple of days my girlfriend flies into Heathrow for new year and I'll be a normal person again for a little while.

Since the tour finished I've been hard at work, either actually at work, or working on new material. I was all prepared to declare that I had finished writing for the new album until I saw Franz Nicolay and Chris T-T at the non-christmas party here in Reading which ended the tour. Since hearing Franz's new material, though, I'm going to feel much better about my own new stuff if I write a couple more new songs just to give me a few more options in terms of good songs that can feature on a new album. So, I'm gearing up already for rehearsals with drummer Jamie Mead in January, leading up to three days at White House and hopefully it'll all be finished and ready to go in time for the summer.

So, merry christmas to you. I hope you've had, and are having, a good one. Keep your eyes peeled for the slow emergence of new sounds as 2012 gets underway, there are certainly some interesting plans afoot. Thanks to everyone who has included me in year end lists and that (especially Moon and Back Music and The Ruckus), and an honourable mention goes to the recent (and, for me, pretty frank) interview with Adverse Camber about life, the universe and, well, everything.

My favourite Christmas video, by the way is this, courtesy of Amateur Transplants.


Thursday, 1 December 2011

post 101

i've been meaning to write about a lot of things for the past, uh, forever.

for instance, i really wanted to write a piece about the state of BBC TV in the wake of them selling out Formula 1 fans nationwide with their new partnership, or how they've ordered a third series of Mrs Brown's Boys before the second is even screened. Or how they opted not to renew Psychoville. Or how they cancelled Shooting Stars, with Angelos having to make the switch to Channel 4 for his own show - surely the equivalent of an escort resorting to streetwalking for lack of any other option.

Mind you, Charlie Brooker's latest three-part horror mini-series has also found a home on Channel 4, with his 2011Wipe being relegated to BBC Four, and ITV1 won terrestrial channel of the year recently so perhaps the world is turning upside-fucking-down after all.

Part of me wanted to write about the recent strikes, the Eurozone crisis, the death of Gary Speed or that really no-one has noticed that today is World AIDS Day. A few days after the 20th anniversary of Freddie Mercury's passing, and 20 years after Magic Johnson dropped his HIV bombshell.

But then again another part of me wanted to write about how most things I know about Brazil come from this cartoon.

I also wanted to write a piece about the band CAKE. I saw them at the Roundhouse recently - my second time at a CAKE show this year after a decade and a half of waiting - and wanted to commend them on their general show, their shunning of the general music industry practices, their two-sets-a-night outlook, the fact that they give away a tree to people who, er, want to grow a tree for CAKE and mainly just how I've grown up with this bunch of west coast sarc-rockers.

Instead I'm just going to link you to my first end of year list mention (they all count, folks) and a delightful Q&A I did with a cool girl called Jenny recently.

It might sound lazy, but that's my evening down to a tee. This week has been month end at work, which in the finance world is secret code for "everything is going to holy batshit mental" and, now stuff is done going holy batshit mental, I am enjoying one (just one, i promise) evening off. Sure, I could be planning the next podcast, or polishing off the last two songs I haven't finished writing for the new record, or editing the takes from the recording I did last weekend, but instead I rode around like a cowboy on Red Dead Redemption, watched a bit of the ridiculously harsh Charlie Sheen roast from Comedy Central recently until I couldn't take any more unnecessary jokes and I had my hair cut.

Ahead of me this weekend, beginning tomorrow, are four of the final five shows for this year. People are already knocking on the door for 2012 and to them I'll say, I don't know quite when I'll be out yet. Yes I plan to do Scotland. Yes I'll be back in Bristol. Yes Birmingham. I am also due to swing by Exeter as I have been negligent. First things first though, I plan to spend the first few months of the year finding a(nother!) new house to move into, moving into it, spending some time in February in Florida, and then finishing off the new record.

About the new record: I'm currently recording various different versions of 20 songs, and by the end I anticipate having about 29/30 different takes to choose from. There will be a new album by the end of 2012, there will also be a whole heap of smaller releases and they'll all be sexy. There'll be a new set and new shows, but these things take time. Once I finish the album (or at least get close to it) I'll know more about what my plans will be for 2012, aside from not go to the Olympics.

This weekend should be superb though. Three house shows and an almost-sold-out show at York's Basement Bar at the City Screen picturehouse. People seem to be travelling for the show, though Louise Distras, who I have been looking forward to finally meeting, has had to pull out of the show. Still, that leave a four-act bill which is plenty. Tonight, in that very room, Franz Nicolay and Chris T-T are playing and I cannot wait to see them next weekend for the non-christmas party. I had a dream about Franz last night. We were on a train in the wild west and he was doing some kind of cabaret. That's about it.

End of dream sequence.