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January 13, 2009

Eye, Eye, Captain

So, I had my appointment with the eye doctor. Same story... don't know why I'm having issues, but here are some handy hints, potions and ointments to sort you out for now. My current 'issue' is now a non-issue so I should finish up with the antibiotics I have... plus I have a new topical kind to massage into my eyelids before beddy-byes for another month to (hopefully) prevent re-infection. Take two asprin and call me in the morning...

Basically, I'm feeling like my warranty has run out and I'm now 'that car' you borrow from a friend which comes with a list of instructions on what to do if it won't start in the morning... "no, no, no... if it stalls then you need to open the petrol cap, pump the gas pedal three times then wait five minutes before turning the key again..."

You know what I'm talking about, right? For now, though, I'm on the ocular mend. Shit, if I were a celeb this'd probably be the time that I'd start going all yoga/macrobiotic/only eating certain types of carbs before 11am type of person.

Thank goodness I ain't no celeb, eh?

Other body parts aren't doing so well, but that's another story! Here goes. So, I spent most of the weekend trying to get back up to speed with my Rockschool stuff, reinstating practice/warmup routines to try and improve my fingerboard/picking accuracy. I spent a lot of time with some chromatic exercises, basically doing a 4-finger crawl up each string, moving up a semi-tone each 4 beats until I reached the 15th fret then spidering back down again. Ascending chromatics are easy. Descending take a lot of control so that you don't allow your fingers to flap all over the place like headless chickens.

I started off being completely useless, but after an hour or so most of my digits were coming under control. The exception was, of course, my wayward 'more tea, vicar' pinkie. I think I basically found that if I made sure I got my pinkie and ring finger down and positioned correctly behind frets on the 1-beat then everything would go according to plan. If I only got my pinkie lined up then things were certain to go to go to hell in a handbag pretty quickly. The thing is that you can get pretty confident, say, at 40bpm, then when you try 60, suddenly those drums are coming at you mighty fast!

I hate running exercises. Okay, so everyone says you really ought to do them and I agree but really, why can't you simply buy finger memory in handy 1GB blocks off the internet?

To the point! There must be one in there somewhere!?!? Oh yes. Fingers. Ouch!!!! At some point over the weekend my middle finger on my left hand started to give me gyp. Middle knuckle. Ow, ow, ow. At first I thought that maybe I'd twisted it or something. Last night after the gym it was miraculously better again, even though just holding a dumbell over my head was a dicey (possibly DUMB) idea at the start of the training sesh. Woke up this morning and, once again... ouch! I slightly suspect that it might be digital gout. Lots of red wine and meat over the Xmas period. I've had gout in my foot before, and this feels similar. I guess I'll lay off the sauce for a few and see whether that helps. No, I'm not giving up meat! ARE YOU CRAZY?!?!

What else?

Oh, before I forget, due to a scheduling faux pas I'm not going to be able to make the Magic Ship headlining gig at the Half Moon in Putney on Friday.



Just because I won't be there doesn't mean that you guys won't have a good time if you head on down there. Go check out the band!

Last but not least I actually dragged myself down to the open mic at the Spice of Life pub in Soho last night. I hadn't been there since I realised that the team from Up All Night had moved to a different venue and the quality of the acts had gone down. Well, I don't know what happened but several of the guys who used to play there were back, some sporting brand new images...

...and some not (we'll leave that subject alone, eh?)

I don't know if it was my mood or if I was finally seeing the scene as it really is. Most of the singer-songwriters basically traded off a) their looks or b) their vocal stylings. The 'material' wasn't there. Everyone used the same chords and chord forms, injecting key variety using a capo. Ironically, the one song I actually liked was performed by a guy who I really didn't care for, stylistically. The lyrics were basically aimed at a guy who'd just been dumped by a girl who had been cheating on him, but nevertheless he who felt like it was all his fault. Doormat city.

Oh, and there was another guy who basically looked like a skinny little Hollywood brat (jealous? ME?), who could play really well and sang with a voice reminiscent of a drunken Ray LaMontagne. I'm not certain, but I don't think the drunkenness was affected.

The thing I do like about open mics is that, sat there in the dark, listening to this new and unfamiliar music, I get inspired. Usually lyrically. I'm not saying that anything I come up with is good, but the ideas just pop into my head without me sitting down and trying to induce creativity.

One idea was came to me whilst watching the twinkie Ray LaMontagne chap. Not my type at all, yet as he sang I became absolutely fascinated by his performance, which gave me the idea for a song about not finding someone attractive until you saw them in a different light (eg singing/performing) at which time their beauty shone through.

Another one was about being in a troubled relationship and feeling like although your partner was going through a tough time you had to find a way to stay happy and positive to keep things together, even though on the surface that might seem heartless or even cruel.

Yes, all of which sounds very much like well-worn singer-songwriter fare. Eugh!

Maybe I should stick to rock shows!

AND HOW COULD I FORGET TO MENTION...

The Derek Trucks Band's new CD, "Already Free", is in stores and available for download RIGHT NOW!

1 comment:

Bizarro Aunt Jackie said...

Well fine enough of course! Love keeping up with your latest and greatest... Hope your 2009 is going well so far.

Yours and Furtheron's little blurbs made me LOL!!!

Thanks for coming by as always.

Too lazy to switch accounts,

Aunt Jackie (AJ)