On this other writing

It’s the sort of thing I wanted to do with my first comedy pilot. I can’t bring you right in of course, that’s physically impossible. But it’s also part of my goal, to change your perception to mine, even if for three to four minutes.

Songwriting.

Now of course, not all songwriting has to be deep and cerebral. Kurt Weill championed the writing of silly songs and the “just fun”. Hey, we gotta eat too, right?

I’ve been writing since I simply could. Even before that, considering it certainly kicked off before I played my first note on that purple Series A bass I had at the age of nineteen. Guitar would still wait a year.

Actually doing it scared me at first, like it was only done by geniuses who were born under a music school piano or something. Between people I jammed with in those early days and music I was learning it seemed more and more reachable. Then came my first role model.

This guy.

Martin Lee Gore of Depeche Mode was the first person to not only pave my first road, but also to show what could be so great about it.

He brought in the idea of taking every subject without filter, layering the modern and creatively limitless atop the traditional, and the storyteller’s approach to sounds versus the idea of endless rock solos. From the first album I got ( a friend’s tape of Some Great Reward ) I was hooked. My first multitrack cassette machine was soon going to arrive.

And I sucked. It wasn’t good at all. It’s one of the reasons I don’t believe that there’s such a thing as bad art. First because any attempt beyond our day to day is beautiful like an early cave painting, but also I will beat anyone to the finish for the just bad.

But you go through this and soon I became a Socan member after getting on the radio a few times.

Since then it’s just always been there, though just recently it has got a resurgence to when I first heard Martin’s work (not to steal his thunder)

This guy.

Ryan Karazija of Low Roar. I discovered this music in the way many probably have, by simply surfing in and seeing the intriguing album cover for the self titled debut (a deer with birds flying out of it’s mouth. It reminded me of the Canadian artist Hayden). I was doing morning pages and other writing and just wanted music to work to, like my use of Harold Budd and Cocteau Twins that had been my go to for just years. That album of Ryan’s was instantly a favorite and it sparked the idea of trying to actually move forward again. So from the beginning of this year I started working on my first song “She lives There”, and while it’s becoming clear that I need to upgrade my recording equipment before I put out a first EP, I still would love to do that and until then I want to hone my sound and songs in preparation.

Songs for me come from anywhere and have come in on literally any instrument. I’ll hear something or learn about something and go “ooh that’s good”.

An example of this was Moonwatcher which is now on my SoundCloud page, which came from studying my girlfriend’s First Nations culture in a dissertation by her late Aunt, Allis Pakki Chipps-Sawyer called Standing on The Edge of Yesterday

In it she mentions the traditional Moonwatchers who would literally stay up all night and observe the moon and there findings would make decisions easier for Elders in the day. Just the name sparkled before me, but I knew it would be too much like Moonshadow if I went and did it acoustic, so I tried for an almost dance feel.

Precipice on the other hand had to be written as I kept having a waking nightmare of being swept over Niagara falls, on a loop so I never actually fell (clearly a stress thing). The cascading arpeggio at the start came first and then the first half fell in place. I resisted the dramatic “chorus” at first but it grew on me. Is it a hit? Probably not, but I love both songs for what every song I have ever done. It is a capture of me exactly at that moment, in both the words and how those words reverb.

Have a listen to Precipice

https://youtu.be/hKC82a_d8JE

Cheers,

Tom

😊

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Library Firepower

It was once stated that no place is as dangerous on earth as that local place in town, that one with the books. I like that, but I can see the reasoning. It’s the same reason barista’s were once thrown into rivers in sacks to drown. The last thing the powers that be want you to be is sober and learning.

There is so much you can get out of your local that it’s not even funny! In this age when the best thing you can have is a “side hustle” the place to fire up your ideas is in a place just down the road. Unlike this overwhelming thing the library is a single task environment. Your eyes scan over shelves and see things, dropping you in ideas and stories that you would never have thought of. Here’s the kicker…your not alone in this endeavour!

Exactly the environment those powers that be would hate! Then you add music, media, online cataloging and more things than I could describe and well, the revolutionaries of Les Miserables or Che Guevara’s would envy you.

Start the Revolution today.

😎

Cheers,

Tom

Tip jar is out! πŸ˜‰ Find me on Patreon

Had fun this morning setting up my page which includes a video clip about what I’m attempting. Yeah it’s one of those long shots but it was still fun to set up and it’s also cool setting goals like how I want to develop my home studio towards my first solo music release.

Even if you can’t spend (or if you can and want to be that level of amazing 😊) please visit the page and check it out!

http://www.patreon.com/tompogson

Apps for Musicians! The Ear Gym!

In the interest of trying things out, I’d thought I’d give a try to trying things. Hopefully that made sense!

I’ve loaded and deleted lots of apps over the ages as I have a little, little phone with not much room and I just keep a few in play.

Let’s kick off with the second in a series of ear training apps I’ve tried, “The Ear Gym.” Ill keep this brief and tight as I’m short on time like yourself.

Way tougher than “functional ear trainer” it actually puts you through paces with interval recognition which is excellent. I’m a big believer in “The Talent Code” (check this out or maybe I’ll do a bit on it later), and anything that puts you in that just-beyond-ability sweet spot is great. I do wish it would go more into recognizing full chords but maybe that’s soon to come ot elsewhere.

8/10

Know an amazing musician app? Post in comments below!

Cheers!

Tom

Have your cake on Live.Me!

Have you been on Live.me yet? Now I can’t claim that the app will provide the cake pictured (now that would be an app I’d like! πŸŽ‚πŸ˜‹)…but it’s still lots of fun and you can actually profit from it too.

I use android so I got it on playstore, but with some help from a regular named “Irish Bear Fan” both Cece and I have gotten started and it’s great. I am up there as 🎩TheRambles🎸 playing music (so check that out if you’re on) but instead of actually broadcasting I was watching an amazing guitarist and singer called NessaDove who you can find on Instagram playing right now and it was cool! Broadcasting from New York city, she jammed and talked to everyone, inspiring people and talking to other musicians…including what’s called “beaming” (sounds like a SpaceBalls reference) where you can have people guest from there device on your broadcast. So she had someone else jam as well and talked. Its cool that way because then you don’t have to communicate just through the medium of a texted response and of course its makes it more interesting for the viewers.

And if you like you can like, share, follow and even send coin gifts which build up and can literally turn into money in your paypal account. But there’s so much fun to be had and games and things that it’s worth it even if you dont rake it in, and for musicians like me you can perform from your home and that ia such a great way to up your game.

Or eat cake. Both are good. πŸŽ‚

πŸ˜‹

Cheers!

Tom

Man’s Search for Workspace

There’s a strong possibility that it’s all just procrastinating. I used to romantically think that I should work on things in the least fancy possible locations because then it was..well..romantically unfancy I suppose. Like if I did my writing or reading in a McDonald’s then I really meant it. Kind of like busking in the roughest area of town. Seems a bit Vincent Van Gogh out there. As I said in a previous post I have done writing on buses and that is true, but its usually the back of a fairly comfortable one with earphones in.

Victoria used to have some amazing late night locations back when there were 24 hour cafe’s. Cafe De La Lune was on the corner of Douglas and Pandora, across from city hall and sported a comfy second story that was perfect for writing. Then there is Qv’s on Government that made for lots of late night work while listening to “Warm Beer, Cold Woman” by Tom Waits. I think I ran into someone from the song there. She smoked menthol cigarettes like Waits said, but I dont remember much else that night. Didn’t turn into anything that seedy (though part of my imagination is fascinated by anything like that.)

I can’t really work at home. On music I mostly can because its more physical I think and active and there’s headphones and shiny blinky lights. Lots of stuff to keep a now forty four year old Adhd’r humming along. But with anything like this I feel like I like to be near activity, though not actually in it. I know, right?

This has lead me to search high and low for just ages, trying to find the best places. I even rented part of an office once with a former cowriter, and i do miss that. I like the idea of a downtown office but as anyone can imagine, the cost would be mind blowing. That was the corner of a room and it cost us a combined hundred and thirty in a building that the police had once raided due to extreme drug problems.

Its like wanting to be near the energy of downtowm but still keep it locked out. Otherwise you get situations were it tries to get involved with you and then you instantly regret your decision.

“What is that…homework?”

And now your a man with a coffee, putting away books to explain why you spend your time off work doing homework when you dont go to school.

Yay.

Do you have any favorite places to work? Maybe you do work at home, or have a perfect time that’s never failed you.

Ironically this is written at home early on a Sunday with Cece asleep next to me.

So maybe I’m growing into the homebody role. Ooo I sure hope so.

😁

Cheers,

Tom

The triumph of impossible things

“There is no today or tomorrow. It’s all one day.” Janis Joplin.

Here we are on the first day of spring, one of our four months. It is 8:25 in the morning here on March 20th and even the temperature is something I could probably acquire with little to no effort. As we grow up, becoming the “tall child holding a beer” to quote comedian Dylan Moran, we increasingly are swamped with rules that make everything like a intricately functioning clock. Some, and myself included try to escape these inevitable rules through different things like skipping sleep or allowing the day to wander without a watch or device in sight. I swear that here in Victoria there is increasing wackiness amongst the Thursday to Saturday night party crowds as if they could wacky the realities away. The question is are they like the contemporary idea of zombies during the fun, or next morning? This isn’t the escape to impossible. Neither is me going “stuff it” and leaving the so-called “smartphone” (which leaves you stranded when dead as we’ve come allow it to memorize phone numbers, show you what people near you are eating and has you watching a person watching their screen, along with 4000 other people because they may do something soon. But hate to bite the hand.)

When you drive up the malahat, there are power linea that swing over Finlayson arm and up the hill. I’ve wanted to zip line them before that was a thing. I’m aware it would kill me via falling, high voltage or a mix of both but that’s not the point. I’d love to go rooffop to rooftop in town like some kind of Parisian bandit. Id love to find a portal to other worlds just under that table in the living room.

Now you. Take a moment to think of something that’s impossible that would be great fun. Allow it to just happen and really visualize it as hard as you can. You don’t need special training or years of plowing through libraries. Just give your day a break from being that tiringly exact, all grown up day.

Enjoy!

Friday Music Funlist!

I would love to make something like this into a thing…and maybe even share yours in the comments section below!

Its the Friday Funlist!

Basically to me music is an adventure that sends you off trying out different things much like the net surfing that I can only assume brought you here.

Especially with things like the amazing “What’s in my bag” series on Youtube

What’s in my bag with Dave Grohl!

Im just using my phone atm and short on time so Ill just put in my three. Rule is it’s three I discovered this week or about this week. It can be a whole artist or just a clip.

Ok here goes

Hope World by J-Hope

Dont know if you caught this trending a few weeks back but this fun tune by Jung Ho-seok of the South Korean boy band BTS is really fun!

Hope World

The Low Roar Remix

Just can’t say enough good things about Ryan’s project other than he’s inspiring, awesome, and you should be already be familiar with him. Click and be happy in a pleasant kind of way.

Low Roar Remix

Recoil 1+2

Both to show I haven’t abandoned my Depeche Mode roots but this is new to me, here is a track by now former band member Alan Wilder. To my knowledge this strange mechanical electronic piece marked the beginning of a little idea that became his project Recoil, now on its 3rd album.

Recoil 1+2

I will try, depending on how this goes, to add more next week. I would also bring in more from, as I noticed, outside of electronica. I literally have half an hour before getting ready for a show as I’m a celtic musician in St. Patrick’s season. He’s so big it just aint one day lol

See you later!

Cheers πŸ˜€

Tom