Haven't posted anything new here in a while. Hope you folks aren't sitting waiting for me to come back, because I've been doing all of my original posting overe HERE. I AM glad to see that my music reviews are still getting attention. They're also reposted on the new blog. I'd take them down here, but really, I know most of you are part of the Wordpress network, which I quite like.
Good Morning, Mackrophiles,
I’m looking at an exceptional piece of Urban Art painted on a wall in Downtown Hamilton (that’s the Downtown Core, for those living above the escarpment who get the whole Downtown thing muddled), and I’m wondering how difficult it would be to design and implement a mural on the scale the SCAssoc. Have in mind for Carter Park. It would have to be very long, and I’m not sure this artist would be able to dream up a whole mural in that fashion.
However, I’ve done murals before, and I think I can sort of feel how it would go, except I think I’d need collaborators to get it done properly, not simply for the painting part, which would take some time, but for the design and ideas, because really, a tableau this big (it’s really several connecting walls, as I understand it) requires quite a bit of coverage. Perhaps something that evokes both city and suburban life, a little bit of historical appeal, a lot of bold urban colour and design aesthetic, and maybe a touch of whimsy here and there. It needs to be fantastical and surreal in places, but modern and down to Earth in others. It sounds like a job that could take weeks just to design, and I’ve heard nothing about how they plan to implement this thing.
One idea the SNAP Committee had (IIRC) was that it would all be done by one local artist, which to my mind is ludicrous, because the design work alone would take weeks, and the painting would take months, and it’s June. I’ve got a strong mind to start designing something now, just to hedge my bets, in case they don’t come up with anything better. Of course, I’m probably not eligible to submit, given that I’m on the team that’s supposed to select the art, amongst other things, for the park renewal. Frankly, I’ve begun to suspect that the entire team is surplus to the city’s requirements, but anyway…
In other news, an old friend of the family and a former client/patron of mine has passed away. There is a lot of tension and strain between our families these days, but I nevertheless wish them peace of mind and an easing of sadness. His suffering is over. R.I.P. Peter.
I was hoping I’d have an idea of what I wanted to do with my day by the time I finished this post, but it seems I’m as directionless as I was when I woke up; perhaps even more so, because at least then I knew I wanted to check my mail and see what my friends were doing. Having done that, I’m now of the mind that I’d like to go visit someone and get out of this place. However, the weather isn’t so good, so I’m not likely to go out unless asked specifically for a visit.
Time to change gears and find something to do. Have a good day. Thank you for reading.
What’s the Macketeer Cheer?
It’s Sunday night, and I’m home from weeding my mother’s garden. I’m drinking homemade iced coffee. My agent is playing jazz music on her computer. I’m parked in my chair with a plank of polished wood forming a desktop straddling the arms of the chair, and my sister’s old laptop, from which I do much of my writing, perched on top of that. The nails of my right hand, which are still long for playing fingerstyle guitar, have two days of dirt trapped under them. I’m basically tired and ready to spend the night doing as little as possible. I may write for a bit. I may just sit and listen to music or maybe write a review or two. I owe a small number of reviews by now. Time to catch up with the ones I actually have the music or movies for.
There’s still quite a bit of work to do in Mom’s garden, but at least the weeding is done. I may go up there again tomorrow and help out, or I may stay home and record music. There’s quite a lot of that left to do, and about sixteen days left to do it in. Actually, make that about thirteen. I’m hoping to have all of the parts recorded before the final week, so I can focus on remastering the album and making it sound right. I’ve been dabbling too much in amplifying the tracks in my computer, and the results have not been good. Too much distortion in cheap speakers and headphones, so it’s time to dial it back and stick with EQ and separation techniques. People will just have to get up and turn the record up if they want to hear it louder. I don’t have the technology to safely boost my tracks without them turning into a trash can orchestra.
I mentioned to Derrick last night that I want to recruit some new musicians. He asked me who I had in mind. I mentioned a couple of people I was thinking vaguely of. He also mentioned a friend of his that he admitted was a long shot, owing to his wife’s disposition towards us and all of our geeky pursuits. She seems to have gelded him quite completely, which is a shame, because he was quite a respectable guitar player, from what I’ve heard. My friends aren’t much more likely, to tell the truth. It may come down to a good old fashioned audition session. So looking forward to that. The last few went so well (not).
We’ve scouted our immediate environs to see if anyone has an open wireless account we can borrow a cup of internet from, but so far, no such luck. I don’t want to ruin anyone’s bandwidth, but it would be nice to be able to sneak out and fire off my daily post again, even if I can’t do much more than that and checking my email before it’s time to come back inside and get back to work. If I ever get ahead of the game again, I may have to invest in wireless internet for my neighbours, as a pay it forward kind of thing.
So I asked folks if they wanted me to put the album out on time even if it’s not quite ready. I got one vote for doing what makes me happy, and two for waiting until the album is truly ready to go. And all three of those came from LiveJournal. Thank you LJ friends. I’m a little bit disappointed in everyone else, though. I had rather hoped I’d get just a few comments from y FB friends, at least, but no dice. I got two or three likes. That’s not the same thing. That’s like answering a riddle with ‘yes’.
My agent is out scouting around for open wireless again. She doesn’t function well without internet. I may go visit her shortly, once this post is finished, and if so, I’ll have to decide if I’m going to post this message or wait until tomorrow morning.
I think that’s enough fatigued babble for one post. I hope to talk to you folks again soon.
It’s 8:48 on Saturday night. I’m home from Mom’s after doing hours of yard work in the hot sun. My feet have briefly soaked in cold water, an idea of my wife’s. I’m listening to Mike Rutherford’s Smallcreep’s Day, one of the coolest albums you probably have never heard, unless you’re one of that handful of musician and music-fanpage friends I’ve spoken to recently about it. It’s Mike’s first solo album, which he recorded with Anthony Phillips on keys. It’s one of my desert island albums, along with Duke by Genesis, Face Value by Phil Collins, Security by Peter Gabriel, and A Curious Feeling by Tony Banks, all released around the same time (1980ish). I also greatly love Drama by Yes and Wise After the Event by Anthony Phillips, also released around 1980.
1980 is a big year for me, musically. David Bowie. Gary Numan. The Police. Van Halen. Cheap Trick. Many of my musical tastes, which have persisted to this day, were developed around 1980. I wouldn’t say it’s my favourite year altogether. A lot of music happened in the early 80s that I find utterly unlistenable. However, the 80s also generated some truly diverse sounds and albums. People were still taking chances around that time. Not quite as crazy as the stuff being recorded in 1967 or 1973, but still, pretty wild stuff. 1980 was a good year. Perhaps one of the last great years for pop music.
Smallcreep’s Day is important to me, not just because it’s one of the last truly extended compositions made by anyone in the Genesis camp, but because it’s made up of songs that flow together like they were meant to be together, and not just because of the story. It’s only half the album, but it’s a great half an album. They did something similar with Duke, where half the album was a concept album suite, but they spread it out over the whole album, with the other tracks feeling sort of like they might have been part of the suite, but weren’t. Duke is one of the last great classic concept albums, in my books. The thing that makes these albums (and Tony’s A Curious Feeling, also a concept album), is that they make a progressive rock statement with pop songs, something I’m trying to do with my upcoming album (almost done… almost done… I gotta keep telling myself it’s almost done so I don’t freak out at the looming deadline).
Basically, I’m a big fan of classic progressive rock extended compositions like Close To The Edge, Supper’s Ready, Fracture, The Gates of Delirium and other fun things like that. However, I’m not quite ready to compose one of those myself. I have one demoed; it’s called The Dreamer’s Symphony. I plan on working it up into a full composition in the next year or two and getting my old band Etcetera to perform it and a full progressive rock concept album with several other extended bits in it. I’m determined to make it my grand thesis statement, the album I started playing music to record. I may even go for a double album, just to get all of my long form pieces on there. The Great Wall. Monte’s Birthday Suite. Opus. Breathe. Bleed Into One. Up For Air.
I’m hoping the band will be back in harness and playing on all cylinders by that point, because I’ll have been making them perform Bisecting a Circumference and The Whole Other Half (and probably And Sew Fourth) on stage for about a year by that point. If anything can make them play better, it will be having two and a half hours of original material to rehearse and perform for a year. I’ll be making this work by any means possible, even if I have to bring in new musicians to help us get it done.
Anyway, I’m gonna slip upstairs and play the new tracks for Derrick and see what he thinks. I’ll be posting this tomorrow morning after I get to Mom’s for more yard work. Thanks for reading.
Your tired Uncle Eddie.
Bon Giorno, Mackaholics!
I’m sorry about the lack of posts this past week. Sadly, I’m without internet right now. Not sure when that will get straightened out, as I’m planning on moving to a new ISP, but first I’ve got to pay off my old ISP, who decided to drop me in a while over a sum of money I’ve made them wait for before without difficulty. The person who suggested it’s a seller’s market must have been talking about something else, methinks. I should really pay better attention when people start spouting platitudes.
Anyway, the point is, I’ve been cooped up in the apartment working on the album, which is coming along, but I’m worried it’s going to take longer than planned. I’m listening to what I’ve got so far as I type this, and it sounds pretty cool, but there are a LOT of mistakes to correct and a fair bit of remixing to do before it will be a polished product.
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION TIME:
A) work as fast as I can and release the album on June 5th regardless of the flaws and learn to live with them?
B) hold the album back until later in the month, after I’ve had a chance to polish up the tracks that need rerecording and such?
C) realise that no one is going to buy the album regardless, so I might as well quit now and go back to writing my novels?
At any rate, I’m posting this from my mother’s place, where I am expected to do yard work this weekend, so I’m gonna log off early and get out there. Hope everyone has had a great week, that no one got any really bad news (oh please tell me nobody got really bad news), and that everyone who loved me last week still loves me this week. Talk to you again soonish. Thanks for reading.
Your Impoverished Uncle Eddie.
I should probably add that this is a very important sale for me. It's not really anybody's problem but mine, but the remains of the rent is overdue. I think you can imagine what that means.