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December 9, 2008

Project Recap: February 2008

Geez, February saw me in a really reflective, yet strangely forward looking, mood. I was really into the WAES acoustic course, totally pre-occupied with learning to play the intro to Jack Johnson's "Taylor". Boy-oh-boy, did I build up some calluses with that puppy! Someday I'll revisit it and have another go, but I definitely remember getting so sick and tired of trying (and failing) to get the synchopation down at the time that I was about ready to smash Blackie into a million pieces.

We took a quick trip to psychadelic Amsterdam and even before coming home I was missing the cool, creative vibe there. It has dark and seedy aspects, but they only serve to add spice to the mix. Watch out, though. The Dutch government are planning on cleaning up the city, forcing coffee-shops and brothels near to schools and churches to close down. The city will change, that's for sure. I love amsterdam and will hate to see it change, but I do get why they think it's a good idea. It will be a shame, though, if some of the more historic establishments can't be kept on under 'grandfather' laws.

Our Amsterdam trip also put me in mind of how I used to feel when we'd head over to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. Good times, good times.

On The Project front, that was about it. I was trying to build up my confidence through the WAES course, knowing full well that once I was done with that I'd have to pull my finger out and try and 'get out there'.

Travelling back through the swirling mists of time to RIGHT NOW, I was reading (I think) "Classic Rock" magazine over the weekend and it had a couple of snippets about Genesis, over in Way-Back-When land. It made mention of "Selling England By The Pound", something like their 5th studio album and the one just before 1974's "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" which, to me, has always been their opus magnus. After "Lamb" Peter Gabriel quit the band and headed off to pursue his solo efforts.

Back in the day I used to be a major Genesis freak. This was before I discovered Southern Rock and I think it was what got me hooked on 15 minute overblown swirling instrumental breaks grafted onto rock songs.

The wail of Duane Allman's slide guitar was the death knell for my Genesis phase. I simply stopped listening to those well-worn vinyls and never really went back. Over the years I've replaced the records with CD's, but never really got hooked on them again. I think the spectre of Phil Collins' solo career overshadowed the majesty and freak-a-delicity of The Old Stuff.

Well, today, RIGHT NOW, I'm listening to "Selling England..." and I have to say it's bringing back memories. I had thought that it might provide inspiration for some new tunes or at least riffs, but I do... not... think... so! I like it... I get it sonically, but it's not where I'm at right now.

The other thing I uploaded onto my iPod to have a sneaky listen to this morning was some stuff by Live. They're another band that I used to take guilty pleasure in cranking up. I loved their albums "Throwing Copper" and "The Distance To Here". In a weird way "Secret Samadhi" was probably my favourite.

Then, well, they went all Goddy. Now, I don't mind if people want to sing about religion, spirituality or whatever, but does every single song have to be about how God does this that or the other? I completely lost interest when they released the album "Birds Of Pray". As far as material for 'homage' [cough] goes, there's potential for some rifftastic stuff in there. I'd seriously consider doing a cover of "Waitress" from "Throwing Copper" just because it uses the words 'fucking' and 'bitch' so much!

Come on baby leave some change behind,
She was a bitch, but I don't care,
She brought our food out on time,
And wore a funky barrette in her hair.

Come on baby leave some change behind,
She was a bitch but good enough,
To leave some change,
Everybody's good enough for some change.

The girl's got family,
She needs cash to buy aspirin for her pain,
Everybody's good enough for some change.

We all get the flu,
We all get AIDS,
We've got to stick together after all,
Everybody's good enough for some change,

And finally on the list of crap I've put onto my iPod we have... "Pride" (1995 Best Of Living Color). Vernon Reid... should be a few licks to cop in there!

And... again... the new preamp for my Marshall didn't turn up yesterday. The issue with the amp seems to be getting worse and the whine's become noticeable on the clean channel. Not fun. We'll see whether the replacement valve improves things. What I don't want to do is spend £100 getting the amp fixed when I could just get a small all-valve practice/recording amp instead for now... or a Mesa Boogie Lonestar Special (you gotta dream, don't you?)


Furtheron said...

Living Colour... Time's Up one of my fav CDs of all time.

Genesis - there are still rumours that the reunion with Mr Gabriel for a "Lamb" tour replay may still come off. Now that would be worth seeing

Col said...

Jeez we're not going to have to re live your blog month by month are we Ken?

Kenski said...



I'm consideromg reliving the year on a blog entry by blog entry basis, possibly rating each one :-)

...okay, in fact I wrote the first few months upfront and they got shorter and shorter.

March is only one para of 'recap' then hopefully I'll have my frikkin' new valve so I can stop moaning (or continue moaning about how my amp is fucked!) and put up something about that... AND some other REALLY interesting stuff!

April was an interesting month, though... pivotal, some may say :-)

Kenski said...

Besides, this is the time of year for long drawn-out pointless deconstructions of unmemorable events.

It's frikkin' Xmas, after all :-)