Keep the content going!

Since I posted that other one about “Content Creators” I have been doing a post a day on Instagram and now Tik Tok. I haven’t been on here as much as it is more the hub for my thoughts and what I do but I may bring them over here more regularly as well.

On Instagram I got as tompogsonmusic and it has been one or more songs a day for the two months now which I am proud of.

This one i did as a request and since I was compared to Simply Red long ago.

Cheers,

Tom

If you think you’re an incel, or have thought about that, a word…

I know the frustration of not seemingly being able to find someone.

I completely related to “Somebody to Love” “Someguys have All the Luck” and the even more harsh “Lonesome Loser” all the way until the age of 24.

Somehow it did just happen. Was it extraordinary? Sorry but not really (unlikely that the person will read this…possible, but unlikely. Not entirely her fault. With all the excitement I lasted…well, longer than I was told a first timer lasts, but hardly by much).

Since then it happened with more people than I actually wish. Every single relationship has had the words “I wish you were my first.” at some point.

I was nerd. Still am. But I can promise you there is no conspiracy against you. Your best shot is to leave this crap (not sex but this incel nonsense) alone and just live your life. Obviously a significant other isn’t just going to knock randomly on your door or grab you off the street so get out there and get active in your community. Not just to connect, but to connect with other people in real life.

Ok, its old school, but so is sex. Sex is a physical thing. Love is effort in real time. You can not download it. So get out there and connect with your world as this will put you in the position where you can make that connection too.

If anything that’s the problem. I certainly made connections through things like Plenty of Fish, but that wasn’t all I did. It was another thing that reached out beyond my immediate circle. Being active in your circle and not just lingering online and sending dick pics (this rarely works, it usually kills your shot stone dead, as pof girls repeatedly told me) makes you seem more a viable and safe choice.

With all the challenges women face they want to make sure you’re fun and everything but not a risk factor before giving you that all important shot.

Like I said, my first was at 24 and i didn’t even know if that was going to happen. I was teased mercilessly before it did. But still, I got there eventually and not because they changed.

If anything it’s because I did.

Cheers,

Tom

Taking a break

I’ve been working on my usual two primary fronts now for ages and I’m one of the few who the current situation didn’t effect as much.
My day job is as a cleaner and the contracts got reduced but more spread out so there’s no lack of leaving here.  I’d say the main thing I miss is coffee shops. 
Two of these posts were written in them at the very least and they have been great for escaping my environment here to consider options, challenge myself and more importantly, focus.
When I’m there I’m not as surrounded by the little details of things that beg and behoove my involvement.  My first television pilot Bass Line was written entirely at the Starbucks near the intersection of Gorge and Tillicum here in Victoria.  As it was a comedy and I was the most influenced by Ricky Gervais at the time I had this thing of leaving first thing in the morning (my then-girlfriend and her kids would be asleep in our bedroom and livingroom so turning a light on was not an option).   Going with my influence I would then put on the Office Theme, the original Rod Stewart version of Handbags and Gladrags, as I walked past all the morning commuters to where I would be working for the next few hours.  I had always used cafes as escapes but this cemented it as my office.  I did have an office  with my former cowriter as well and I genuinely miss that little spot we had in downtown Victoria.
Anyways today is the first day I’ve had off, due to the Victoria Day long weekend since this thing began.  I am doing final edits to the Quiet City novel which I’ve been working on slowly for a little under a year (though parts of research and the idea has been around since before Bass Line in 2013.  As I said on here how content creators should create content during this lockdown I have been trying to put out song a day on Instagram (tompogsonmusic).  I sometimes do them on Sundays but this is usually the dead day for that, though maybe that has changed as the idea of days has.  And without Cookeilidh I have been primarily focused on music study so I’ve been using some online sources to improve at keyboard and of course bass guitar.  There’s been some songwriting as it just happens organically but I’ve not wanted to push it as it’s so easy to make music about the most obvious subject.
I still maintain my belief that this whole thing is the natural world’s shot across our bow.  I think it’s more one part of a whole, which can be solved.  If we didn’t feel pressure to achieve, be number one, conquer seemingly everyone around us, whether a single soul, a corporation or a country maybe we wouldn’t be creating the pressure which has us pushing our luck.  We keep adding pressure until something breaks.  This doesnt work. 
Anyways, steering away from my politics I feel like creatively I’m finding my own threads musically and as a writer like finding what my groove is with more certainty and what sounds like me.  I’ve been listening back to my work and putting it into playlists and finding what has actually worked.  I mean I like everything from hard rock, industrial and electronic to Sibelius, Kurt Weill and Shubert but there is a sound that is my natural home.  Havent done as much livestreaming lately as my devices aren’t up for that but that’s fine.  I am curious to see how different things will be after all this is over. 
I dont know if I’ll put out an album soon as I have done Goldblacks (over in the Music section  click here for more on that ) and might put out just singles.  I wanted to do that album to prove to myself that I could, but its interesting as Depeche found their groove during the creation of A Broken Frame, and I think in some ways I did the same.  From it and beyond I know what works and what won’t. 
I also have my really out there vanity project called Song of Devotion which is script based onto the most controversial and dramatic part of the Depeche Mode story from 1993 to 1998 but that’s just when I’m between edits.  I like the creation process for screenwriting but I have had enough negativity in the production processes to stop a train so I’ll see how this goes.  If fully fleshed out I might bring it so someone but theres the question of who with something like that.  Due to its subject matter it could not be small budget so I would have to be connected to someone with serious firepower.  Not sure about that, but it is fun to work on anyways.
Fun is hard, which reverts right back to the political side again.  Artists shouldn’t feel like their activities are based on what has the most financial potential.  I should be able to suddenly start using watercolors without thinking I’m on the wrong course.  After the death of the legendary Florian Schneider of Kraftwerk I watch a documentary on that scene and the level of out of box thinking that led to them, Tangerine Dream and Krautrock and eventually synth-pop like DM was incredible.  This included a non musician artist who formed a band stating how he didn’t like melody as it “grows in your head like a worm”.  Some of these supposedly crazy things are how real change happens.  Instead of trying to catch up to what’s happening now, like singers tried to sound like Eddie Vedder in the nineties, your better off starting it from scratch on your own and finding your trail.”Go the other direction, your chances are better”
Anthony Robbins Cheers,
Tom

Planet of the Humans explored.

There has been alot thrown back and forth lately, which makes sense as I take a bus through my town. It’s the first time I’ve done that and the sight is shocking. The extra construction as traffic is near nonexistent, the emptied shelves, and ambulance squeezing past us on the right with the paramedics both in full masks.

In this environment Michael Moore released The Planet of the Humans. I cant say this was poor in terms of timing. I’m presently on my way to record a video for my older song Precipice which seems more appropriate now as before it was about my own fears.

We’re all freaked out. Even those who want it opened soon. Those faces in the governor’s window, people ingesting cleaning supplies, and the theories. Now I’m adding mine. That’s it. Michael and his friends added theirs. Facts are easy in any case to dispute. I was raised catholic and you dont have a mix of that and “doubting Thomas” without knowing about believing without personally witnessing.

So loads of right wing types like Brietbart cheered and the left wing cried that they were betrayed. I genuinely believe both are missing the point. Math isn’t political. Science isn’t political. The facts dont care. We do have the mentality of constant expansion and growth on a planet that doesnt go on forever.

Turning our endless “I want what I want and that’s the end of it” over to renewables, electric cars and solar panels isn’t good enough and, as it turns out, isnt actually much better. This is where the left wing, of which I see myself as roughly belonging to, explode.

What’s funny is there is a group of people who were doing it right before we stormed in, called them uncivilized and made things our way. They were the indigenous people of this continent. For absolutely millenia they ran the entire continent like one single organic farm. Most of our major highways are old trails. There was a mindfulness of what they did, animals they killed and how they lived that they knew was part of, and not dominating, the world around them.

We are like farmers or custodians of this world. An inability to share it and maintain it fails all of us, not just the poorest or people we have claimed lesser than. If nothing else comes from our lockdown it’s that his mindset of who are the better people and who are not has got to become a thing of the past. Discrimination is not just wrong, it is a mistake that costs us dearly in the long run.

We need to think long run. Not thinking that way is why we find ourselves locked down. I believe the same when it comes to homelessness, addiction, and every other dis – ease we suffer from as a society. Like the emotional scarring of someone who was abused, the problems arise seemingly out of nowhere.

They are not out of nowhere. We take care of each other, our earth and stop believing you can do whatever you want and get away with it.

I am not here to side with anyone. I am here to beg our society to evolve for the better while my time on this planet remains.

And I feel I have only just begun.

Cheers,

Tom

The End of Presidents and Prime Ministers?

The reason for these roles was after a time of tyranny and royal dominance. If you look into the beginning of the American Presidency, George Washington was almost like a chairperson. They would not have wanted him to have dominance as they had just left that behind with the British Crown. America was a experiment in working together and democracy.

Since then it seems the role has slowly formed right back into a position of power, primarily as a standard bearer for the side of government standing behind. You can watch an episode of Yes Minister and it still works roughly today almost 50 years later as being a dissatisfying vessel of non change and fame/glory for the random person who seems to sit in the big goldy oak chair.

From a previous post about Bernie Sanders it is true I am politically progressive and unashamedly socialist. It comes from experience as a musician where I know local players who are rock star talented and then saw an interview with Phil Collins talking about the absurdity of contemporaries who hadn’t been to ever house they owned yet. People should be rewarded for their work but you can only sleep in one bed, eat so much and drink so much a day.

Politics seems to have gone crazy with dirt digging, ego and aggression. It’s like a popularity contest when they vote for him because “I like him. I don’t know. He seems honest.”

It seems like it’s not about serving but winning. Winning what? It should be boring. It should be endless bits of paper and problems to sort out. When you want an alpha dominant aggressive rockstar on a ego trip do you really think you’ll get a soft spoken sensitive person who considers all sides to an issue and would rather listen than talk?

This is true despite country or side. This isn’t just Trump. It’s like with my song Reason. Is it about him, yes but not just him. He’s just the most brain blastingly blatent.

I suggest going back to King Arthur’s idea of the round table, minus a king. People we have chosen for their service to their commitment simply are eventually seated at a table of between 4 and 7 people. More than that and it becomes able a group within that group, less and it’s not wide enough a cross section. They then serve for a short period of time.

Perhaps their could be a reward system for doing well or threat of no longer being part if you completely flunk. Not sure. We can work this out, I just wanted to put out the little I have.

The more we learn about the soft complexities of the way forward with what we’ve learned about International realities, climate change, inequality, homelessness and now covid 19 and the Planet of the Humans documentary it just seems clear that we need governments that are progressive and actually want to implement real seismic change, not just win the office. On the continent of North America I’ve yet to see a party I would trust to do that.

Maybe things need the real shake up.

Cheers,

Tom Pogson

Creators, Welcome to Why.

I for one dont have a problem with Bill Maher. I’m also a big fan of Ricky Gervais as my friends have been known to bemoan that I do him. Now what joke am I setting up here?

Anyway, he still never calls.

If a joke is offensive or a song upsets you or someone’s writing made you frustrated, that’s fine. I still believe in a higher power is my point about Bill and Ricky. Just because I dont agree doesn’t mean I can’t laugh. Like one priest my mom knows, he said he like Davinci Code, saying it was fun.

Our job as entertainers, content creators and artists is to get people away from themselves.

People are freaked out as hell right now. Even if you think of yourself as the most level headed there is nothing like seeing those empty shelves for that first time. This is crowd effect. Our species thinks as a unit when the chips are down. Sometimes this can be good and of course it can be bad, but it still is there. I mean, empathy is how we work. As musicians and writers I can tell you we work people’s expectations and things for the most dramatic results.

“People hate this in real life but love it in fiction” Sol Stein on Writing.

Here’s a piece of music I did on the experience of seeing those shelves for the first time. I wrote the lyrics literally on the walk home on a notepad app. It was a bitterly cold day with high wind here in Victoria on the Canadian west coast and my hands were actually cracking from how much I’ve been washing my hands more than usual coupled with work and with performance in my Celtic band during the blur that is St Patrick’s month.

I knew I wanted to keep it simple with two chords back and forth like a heartbeat. I’ve also been glued to the late Mark Hollis’s debut album which probably influenced my choices.

Did the song work? No idea but it takes the viewer away from themselves for a moment.

With my band Cookeilidh I have certainly experienced this. We will play a seniors home and there will be a person singing and tapping her feet, or clapping her hands. Afterwards we will find out that is the first time that person has even spoken in months.

No matter what art form you do this is true. No matter what form of entertainment. We are all these gentlemen…

Or as you may know them…

Interesting being a bassist and seeing the bassist’s “White Star” tie. It immediately makes me think of the prep I’ve done before shows. Instagram girls and adult entertainers I’m bringing you in here too. Now some might say I’ve gone too far or revealed something but screw that. Actors, singers, musicians, painters, dancers, writers, poets, adult performers, filmmakers, artisans, songwriters, producers we are all doing the same thing in our way. We put on the best show we can. Sure, we have our hopes thrown into the ring as well, but without what I’m saying we’re not doing the job.

“There’s a job, there’s a gig here” Billy Joel

“Sometimes a fantasy is all you need…” Just a Fantasy – Billy Joel

“Be the sweetest five minutes you ever had…” Tomorrow We’ll See – Sting

Ariana Grande isn’t so into me our most of us out there but when she sings that against Max Martin’s brilliant production you could almost close you eyes and swear you are in some cool hip club and she is actually hitting on you.

Not that I’ve thought of that.

But especially now when there’s self-quarantining on the horizon or in effect for many of us, the need for escapism is stronger than ever. We need you.

I think of how Sting just about cried when he heard some window cleaner whistling one of his songs. He mentioned this in an interview and I think it was about the Police song “Walking on the Moon”

My music was getting him through the day. It became part of his life that helped him even in a small way

And of course this is just one example. One of the reasons I emulate Ricky Gervais so much is because of my day job which is as a cleaner. While I love music of course it can get a bit background-on-background so years ago I added the complete radio shows and podcasts plus Adam and Joe, a comedy team also from the same XFM radio in London between 2000-2006

And now I’m listening to the Adam and Joe sample… Haven’t heard this specific video so…yeah, I’m wrapping this up and checking my spelling.

Might take a while.

Kind of the point.

Get out there and do your thing.

😉

Cheers,

Tom

You are not a straight line.

Aslan is not a tame lion.This one applies to the divine if you believe in that but you dont have to. I’m not wandering into that. Half because trying to influence a choice on people’s beliefs is pointless up to being thoroughly moot, and part because that’s not my focus.It’s on you.I’m a bassist. It was my first serious instrument to any extent and it’s the breadwinner instrument in most things that I do. It gets me in the door.But i also went to Uvic and switched from music to writing.Record scratch. What?That’s right, the music side of University of Victoria’s Fine Arts program wasn’t working for me, especially with how limited my position in it was, but with the encouragement of a literature professor…writing seemed interesting. I went from this to screenwriting and working in film for a while, all the while playing bass.Songwriting which I slowed at back when I was gearing up to play classical bass reamerged after my filmmaking time came to a close, especially with the International open stage of LiveMe, Instagram and so on.Still playing bass? Yep. Still writing. Well, I think that’s clear. So am I just getting this down between scales and arpeggios on my Fender? Nope.I’m doing something totally crazy I haven’t done in a while. I’m on a bus to hike Mount Quimper which is way out above the Sooke Potholes Park. Why? I saw an image and have wanted to do this for a while and I’m going to record a cover up there.Passing the Luxton Fairgrounds as we speak. I haven’t been out here since I was getting ready to cycle across Canada back in 1994. I hadn’t played bass yet.But you see, it’s ok if you haven’t got the plan yet or if you explore. This is what gives you a richness of life and soul.

Enjoy!

Little clip from the top…

But seriously, Meditation

It’s totally fine if you think I’ve gone the full hippy. Even looking for an image that wasn’t embarrassing wasn’t easy. They do end up being a bit “and you’ll find yourself floating somewhere near Tolkien’s Houses of Healing

I started because my health was crap and I was lucky enough to be a self employed writer at the time so I could blast through research on how to deal with the chronic nauseated feeling that I had then. It got so bad i was on the couch and playing candy crush made me feel gross too.

I promise this is not a commercial for them by i used the calm app. It worked for me but from experiencing some of the others the idea is basically the same. There is no religion involved and you can do it alone, or in a group (I haven’t but they have that at some fitness groups). Its not so much zoning out as it is having a relaxed complete awareness of yourself and the world around you. The other part is breathing which sounds obvious but focusing on breath is both calming and always available no matter where you are – something that can come in very helpful when you are on a road trip or what have you.

Try one of the apps and give it a chance. Treat it like a ten minute daily exercise at what ever time you wont be disturbed or distracted. You will feel more clearheaded afterwards and all kinds of health results soon enough if you stick with it.

Plus taking care of yourself is infectious, but in a good way. Here’s one you try sitting where you on looking at this very device.

So go over to PlayStore or you iPhone equivalent and look up a Meditation app you like the look of.

Give yourself your best!

Cheers

Tom

Top ten references when writing The Quiet City

Here, in no particular order, are ten that stood out for me straight away!Lots of honorable mentions as you can see from the racks behind me, including Henderson’s phone directory that told you what was where street by street in 1910 to 1911. Research was always a big deal in this, partly to make sure I got it right, but also to transport you back with all the color, sounds and sights of being in downtown victoria just before the great war.
Part of the book is set in present day which is how the room gets included as of course Victoria’s first library was the one on Yates and Blanshard donated by Andrew Carnegie.Click on the writer section of my page to read now! Thank you for checking out my work!Cheers,Tom

Dear funny old Mr Leon

“Get him!”

The sound of the oldest boy ricocheted down the alleyway. I ran. I hadn’t done anything but it didn’t matter. Those boys always bullied me. They were about my age but I was small for ten years old.

I ran around a corner only to nearly crash right into some of mother’s friends, especially dottering old Mrs. Wendy who was still wearing mostly black after her husband passed away four months ago.

“Kevin!” Miss Hazlemeare snapped.

“I know!” I managed “I’m sorry”

Behind them I saw a small alley and shot down there, the path rounding it’s way between towering tall buildings. The brick road became narrower and I stopped and cowered in a doorway with a large grey metal bin between me and where I had come from.

I couldn’t hear them. Just the drip, drip, dripping of water from somewhere nearby. I didn’t want to head back the way I came yet, but I had not been in this section of the city before.

I started walking thinking I had the way sorted out. I knew which way home was from when I ran past the ladies so I just needed a road that crossed again and took me that same way.

But then I realized the boys might know I had come down this way and were waiting for that.

Unlikely I realized as I started walking.

Above me in the narrow passage you could barely make out the sky, or any sun at all with the grey network of structures climbing all around. I was supposed to be home by a certain time. I knew I was trouble. They never listened if I talked of bullies.

Then i heard something very strange. It was a plunking sound with a tapping sound going along with it.

Tap tap…ta tap tap. Plunk plunk pu plunk. It made no sense and that is why I stopped. I looked around. Just high walls. Just steel doors. Just a grey street in the shadowed light of what i could guess was around five o’clock.

Then the noise again. I saw it. A single door was opened. But this door wasn’t grey. It was yellow like a gold mark in parts, red like roses in parts and blue like a summer sky. I walked quietly up to the strange door. I looked around to see if anyone could see me inching closer. The sound that went up and down in tone was coming from in there.

I looked in to see the room inside was lit by four handsome lamps, which by itself was extraordinarily extravagant as mother and all the other adults would never abide more than two. And in the middle was an older man, sitting on a simple wooden chair. Beneath him was a piece of wood which he tapped. In his hands was the strangest thing I ever saw. It was golden in parts and chocolate brown in others and had three cords that ran across it which he plunked withone hand, while the other moved a hand along a bright white plank. I didn’t see anyone in the room and he seemed completely fixated on what he was doing. His eyes were closed.

On the wall were other smaller pieces of wood that, like the door, were covered in colors. In one side of the room he had a collection of other devices, in every shape that I never could have imagined.

“Hmmm mmm hmm” he said to noone as he continued, the tone of his humming then rising and falling.

It was strange and I could only stand by the door mesmerized. People didn’t make their door or anything in funny colors. People didn’t make funny noises to the air for no reason but there he was.

“You going to stand there all day boy?” He said with his eyes still closed as he continued to plunk and tap, the plunking changing tone quickly as he went up the white board to its end.

“I’m sorry, Sir” I said as I went inside. Then I saw one of the coloured boards that really caught me off guard. It looked like the great commons in the heart of the city but it was made in his colors. In this case layers of different blues like the sky, the rivers and distant mountains.

“Do you want to take something with you?” He asked.

I just stood there. I was perplexed but also wondering what mother would say if I walked in with something like what I saw.

“You must be late for dinner, young man,” he said “I’ll take you home but here…”

He got up and went over to his desk by the hearth of his fireplace. He took a little wooden bird and brought it over to me. I had never seen anyone make a pretend thing like this, let alone how it seemed colored to look like a baby chick from the farming lands.

“Do you like it?” He asked.

I looked at it. It clearly had taken him long to make it just so and given it bright colors. It felt light in my hands. I have never been to the farming lands but I could imagine it was like that. I liked how it made me think of that.

“I do like it.”

He smiled and gestured for me to follow him. We went outside into his front garage where he had one of those metal grey engines with the side car. After clearing the side car of all kinds of strange things he seemed to have picked from the forest, from the beach and from the cheap markets he had get in. I got in and he passed me a big oversized black helmet which on my head both made me look ridiculous but also made me feel invisible which I liked as well.

“But Sir…” I said as he got on the motorcycle and started it with a loud roar.

“Yes?”

“Why do you do these things?”

“I never know,” he said and thought about it “It could be the lady from the moon who started it.”

And with that we zoomed into the street and raced down the road, the cobbles bouncing me so hard that I swear, I thought the vehicle would come apart and I would crash. It was fun as we raced through my old city, passed the commons and into the roads where the housing lights of people were lit warmly. We slid up to my front drive where I could see mother.

“Who’s the lady in the moon?”

“That’s for another time!” he said.

I thanked him and went inside. I told mother about him but decided to keep the bird to myself. She said he was a widower named Mr. Leon and how oh yes, people knew about him. He was very strange and told stories which we dont do because they are lies.

I had supper and after doing homework by the fire I kissed mother goodnight. Upstairs I was soon lying in my bed. The sound of funny Mr. Leon’s plunking came back to mind. Through my curtains I swear I could see the lady in the moon give me a wink.