Moss and May Original Song

Originally recorded in 2004.

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So near great distances

I always like those shows that talk about a character that is suddenly bumped out of their life into another reality. In truth, most movies are about that, the crossing of the threshold, but how often do we do that?

I genuinely believe that the human frames we inhabit are capable of more than we realize. You could be so many different people in one lifetime. This idea is sort of a mix of marrying the last few blogs plus how on Saturday I was going for a run and ended up at Gonzales Bay, soaking up sun and jumping in the water.

My run was going this way and then I saw this one road and was thinking how I never went that specific way. Ran up to the top of the observatory and down the other side which finished my 35 minute run.

It’s metaphoric to me about how little choices can suddenly put you a life you never would have expected, and then again. I didn’t have my bus pass so had to walk with my socks in my wet jogging shorts all through the sun of Fairfield’s streets. Walking always brings this thought to me, how you can take different roads on a whim and give you entirely different days.

Also kind of reminds me of how I mentioned that “Once you’re out there you will like it”. You can get swept up in the energy of a situation and you’re physical self is capable of either being worn out or springing to the most life.

Consider the story of Scott Rogers who had his leg horribly amputated in a shotgun accident. I mean, when it comes to reasons to just give up and watch tv with some nachos, hey that’s a good reason. He may have done that too (homemade nachos and actually watching Netflix all the way. Was laughing last night watching The Disaster Artist) but what he did do was become the first above-the-knee amputee to complete the 2,174 mile Appalachian Trail.

If you spent all the money in the world you would never obtain a vehicle as intricate, fine tuned and powerful as the thing below your nose. You do what you can to keep it running as smooth as any GTO Judge

Thing of beauty, but nothing on you.

but then just know, that like that great car, it can truly surprise you when you “get out on the highway”.

From the quiet of a library where you read the thoughts of those who have made incredible distinctions, or found beauty in their artistic adventures to being in the shared energy of a live event

the living complexity of the world is there to explore and you’re most incredible machine is your portal to a million different realities, from five thousand miles away to a single inch.

Raise your hands and feel it.

You’re alive.

Today’s special for music is Angus & Julia Stone – Down the Way

click here to listen 😉😄

Groove on and talk to you later!

Tom

Your own personal genius

Is there something you were meant to do that you haven’t discovered yet either? What I can tell you is that there is every chance you’re just around the corner from it, but what is it?

It seemed appropriate to start with a musical reference to this as the history of modern music is loaded with these life twists. Martin Gore was just a band member before the previous songwriter quit and he was thrust into the role as he already wrote one track for his band Depeche Mode.

There’s of course the story of how Phil Collins replaced the exiting Peter Gabriel because he had a go from his drum set and all the guys freaked right out. But what’s really interesting is often sparkling talents for a given instrument like how Jaco Pastorius was originally a drummer before the bassist quit and thought he’d try, and within weeks was on his way to being the greatest bassist in history.

It makes you wonder and what if it’s not confined to music? There’s every chance you are the world’s greatest cojone player but it could also be in some other realm beyond playing crazy cool world beats.

There’s the classic story of 3M, where the scientist was trying to make a permanent adhesive and instead got this stuff that was sticky but didn’t work at all. He realized the potential of a sticky note and the rest was history.

I like the idea that, put simply, the search continues and as you do, you follow what intrigues you. Jaco was in the right area. In fact, from his drum kit he only needed to be on the instrument a few feet to his right. It’s all “In the Meantime” as you search for your thing. How long can you search? I’m 44 and I’ve had bass students 20 years older than me. I know people older than that who are trying their hand at boatbuilding.

And you don’t have to… anything. You don’t have to be the world’s best to enjoy it. Sometimes it’s just fun. I’ve been digging into keyboard playing over the last few months because of a Christmas gig that had long breaks and a piano in the back. I started thinking (ironically) “You know, I think I get how that bit from Depeche Mode would go..”(I had a understanding of keys, but never tried to really play two-handed that much)

But isn’t talent reserved for some higher-blessed types? Possibly not. There is lots of study on this, in fact one book to look out for is called “The Talent Code” by Daniel Coyle where he slueths out world famous talent hotbeds around the world to find what’s going on. What he discovers is that it is less magically bestowed talent than it is simply how we approach learning something. Daniel has another book called the “Little book of Talent” which condenses this idea of deliberate practice which I won’t go into other than it’s about pushing into the weak spots of what you do, in a way that you can repeat with immediate feedback. Definitely check out his books which are available on the Hoopla app. And no, I don’t work for him, he’s just good.

So is there anything you’ve thought of trying your hand at recently.

Who knows? You might be the genius we’ve all been waiting for.

😉

Cheers,

Tom

Things

Interesting watching the building crumble across the road.

Hauled down by men with thick gloves, defiant to frost a foreman’s rough speech, the old

taskmaster.  They break center first, cutting, smashing

breaking and then sweeping, clearing away what was there before.

They spread to the wings.  It’s still going on now.  You wonder if it will ever

ever end, but it will.  And as it falls you know it will.   That part of the city

is alien land.  You see what’s it like when it’s cleared, when it’s fully cleared, before we.

ever set our devious plans.

 

One day the last stone will be swept

away.  It’s just a memory.  They’d have to convince you that you

drank coffee, bought that book on Vaudeville’s

fall.  New memories will be shaped

on the place the stones became powder.

 

demolition.jpg

If you could not fail…

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Everest

What would you do if you absolutely could not fail?  Would you climb to the heighest high and stand on the top of the world?  Take it further with the international space station?  Do stand up comedy at the Met?  Heavy weight champ?

And does it have to be so grand?  I had this question put to me and really what it questions is goals and dreams.  I don’t personally follow the “you can do it all” thought due to the hurtful nature contained within.  Something tells me that if I try my hardest I’m not going to make the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition for 2016.  Even if I switch my latte to nonfat I’m pretty sure it’s outta my reach.  This is an obvious example but it’s best to stay in those goals, the reachable ones of what you want to do or feel you could if you put in that little extra time.  Mine is full time writer and musician.  I work on top of that but otherwise I’m already doing it. 

As to the failing side, what’s wrong with that?  We want to have experience and we like to receive experience but what is that?  Isn’t experience just the result of making mistakes and learning from that.  If you worked in a place where no one came in, yeah you’d be amazing at it and your work would be failure – proof but it would be 1) extremely boring and 2) over in less than a month. 

Some of the biggest failures have been the gateway to success as well.  Post its came from someone trying to create a superglue that totally failed.  New Order’s bassist just grabbed a bass and joined the band with no idea how to play the correct way so he created a style that became their signature sound.  The list of this goes on and on.

So get out there and try it.  Try it, suck at it and try it again.  Just keep hammering at it 🙂

Cheers,
Tom

Created by TomPogson.com

The art versus the artist

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Joy Division by Anton Corbijn

I could have just as easily put up a image of Robin Williams, Charles Dickens or Vincent Van Gogh.  Creativity doesn’t necessarily have to come from a dark place to be worthy of exposure.  Sometimes artists are in their best place when they create their best work.  An easy example of this would be A Kind of Blue by Miles Davis.  Miles and a group of incredible players went into the studio with only a few basic sketches of ideas and improvised what would soon be a classic.  I know for myself that being in a miserable intoxicated space doesn’t usually produce my best work (naturally I’m not going to place myself alongside these artists.  After watching Jaco Pastorius – Modern Electric Bass I always feel like the tribes least talented and clumsy Neanderthal.)  It is very likely that some of these struggling iconic figures were in their most lucid when they created their work. 

I don’t know if forms of mental illness create artistic genius.  I have known many extremely talented people who don’t have any visually crippling ailments (though not all ailments are as easily seen).  However there are plenty of examples you can find of genius residing in people with mental illnesses. 

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Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of Great Britain during World War 2 struggled with depression, coining the phrase of the “Black Dog” that would visit him.  This image immediately brings forth the sound of another great Englishman (me and U.K culture again, I know…)
Strange version of Nick Drake’s Black Eyed Dog
Maybe it boils down to what Anthony Robbins said that the two things that move people are either inspiration or desperation.  Some success stories come from things fallen in place from a love of something and some come from the push of pain.  I personally believe that the main source of talent is a love for what you do that makes you pursue it daily, vigorously with your full mind and spirit.  People who suffer from mental illness often have grown up with the concept of struggle being inherent to existence and so perhaps their persistence is only amplified.  Perhaps the pleasure from the what they do (which doesn’t have to be necessarily in the arts) helps these people escape from their black eyed dogs.

But in response to the postaday prompt which I read today, I personally don’t look for the struggle or think that it means the art is better or worse.  To me the art and the artist are separate things.  The art is the body of work like any job done by a master’s hand.  The artist is the fragile master behind it, the craftsman with calluses.  The work lives on in the stars.

Created by TomPogson.com

The world of waiting

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I like the quote that Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode used to talk about the years he had already worked in the music business.   He got the quote from Keith Richards originally but I don’t think it’s only true for rock stars…

“It’s five years of work and the rest is waiting.”

We wait so much of our lives and you just know for a fact that there is…oh lots more to go.  As I write this (originally) I’m early for work and so I’m simply waiting as well.  Some folks naturally don’t like to wait.  I probably don’t much of the time as well as there is lots of things to do with creative work where it’s not one event after another.  So much of what I do is scheduling (as my many employers can understandably talk about) and that naturally leads to those in between times when you are simply waiting on the green light to get going.  But since we know that the waiting is going to happen I think that it’s almost empowering.
I mean, we now have these sometimes leash like mobile devices and if you “do social media” that is certainly one way to use up that time when we line up for a ticket, a coffee, purchasing a new shirt but there also just that opportunity to be more present in the moment.

This is one thing that is great about kids.  They are utterly self aware and in the moment.  They notice everything, and as we know, they are only too ready to tell you about it.  Ok, this shouldn’t be confused with patience as spending any time at a religious (or otherwise) service can tell you but that’s just because they have been told to quell their natural exuberance.  But as a busker, kids are awesome because they will often halt their parents who are cannoning from one very important thing to the next very important thing to pull at mom’s coat and exclaim…

“Mommy!  Look!  Guitar!”

I owe their union a lot of money for this.  It’s about being relaxed that things will work out and just setting off early so you’re not late.  Don’t line up if you can’t.   Don’t take on more than you can.  You don’t need to be perfect.  You’ll have plenty of time to wait tomorrow too.

But then I’m probably just an early bird.  Victoria is wonderful first thing in the early morning.  Give yourself the time to enjoy those little details of her city because there is lots of them.  That’s actually one thing I’ve really enjoyed about working on my own twitter and my project accounts…when reaching out to the city to tell everybody that we are here I’ve learned how much is really going on that you can get involved in.  This city was founded on a Gold Rush and a sudden influx of people from all over the globe.  With a background like that set on the Pacific Coast there is always another thing to see.  So step out of your own blinders when you have no option but to wait.  You could be surprised to find out where your really standing.

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St Patrick’s week and more!

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Cookeilidh are : Woody, me, Kim David

     Been a really busy week since last Tuesday when St Patrick’s started.  That’s the thing about being in a celtic band.  St. Patrick’s for us is, and sorry if this sounds ego driven but it’s a whole lot more than one night of green beer (even though that’s fun too!)  We’ve been pretty much doing one gig a night for well over a week and there is still more to go.  One thrill was having tracks from our new cd played on All Points West CBC with Jo-Ann Roberts just before our show at The Copper Owl (pictured above)

It’s funny…just jamming along to Depeche Mode’s Personal Jesus with my bass (ok that’s wierd) and how even though lots of things change…lots more are always the same.  I love playing acoustic music and playing a lot to the band’s I’ve loved over the years (some celtic, some acoustic and some really neither) and I love writing and creating things.  I’ve probably said that before and it’s easy to go with the things you know but the main thing is not to leave any place unexplored because you’ve got a prejudged notion.  That was the wierd story behind me as an acoustic / celtic musician liking Depeche and others (weirdest cd I ever had was definitely “Coyot” which was aeolian strings stretched across a Swedish abandoned military base)  I was very much focused on my style of music back then and I heard of Depeche but lumped them in with those “wierd stuff over there” bands.  When a friend gave me a tape I never even listened until one day making a tape (yeah, tape) as a joke.  From that I brought the whole tape to work and it seriously turned my head around.  Learned my lesson.  I think that applies to way beyond music.  You simply never know.  You never know what the young man with the skateboard on the bus next to you or the lady in front of you in line at Tim’s is really all about.  The idea that other people have it easier is also illusion.  Rich or poor live provides its struggles and it’s joy.

Went philosophical there.  Anyways, check out my other new thing I’ve been working on this week if you get a chance.  It’s a story that is based on my own background when I use to aspire to bike mechanics and was seriously into cycling and going to bike shops…and listening to loads of classic rock!
Journal by Max

You can also follow the band at…
Cookeilidh’s main website!

Cheers
Tom 🙂

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