Posts Tagged ‘Xmas’

Thank you to everyone who downloaded my ’52’ album. It is now unavailable pending me figuring out what on Earth to do with all those songs. You have a similar conundrum in the form of 52 songs on your hard drives without a clue to their content and quality.

They may not all be up your alley… there is for example a nine minute long spoken word and dissonance piece called ‘The Devil’s Prayer’ which I recorded with the talented actor Jenny Mae Morgan for Halloween as well as the aggressive Omnichord-punk of ‘We Need To Talk’. There’s the sub-Warp dance-experiment of a track ‘There Is No German Word For Efficiency’ or the poorly recorded, jokey ‘Please Don’t Die, JB’ which was written to keep my housemate from losing consciousness after she sliced her thumb off at my birthday party.

With the hit and miss nature and obvious quality control issues of writing a song EVERY damn week I thought I would list ten of my favourites to give you a ‘crack’ into the album…

2. Meg Shelton, The Witch Of Woodplumpton
The tale of Meg and some of things that occurred to her as a witch but really more about how men will use the excuse of witchcraft to treat women horribly. Will eventually rerecord this with strings to have a real ‘Danse Macabre’ feel. [Side note – I did have a woman threaten to put a hex on me at a gig I played in Antwerp last year because she thought I was actually condoning the burning/burying alive of witches. Maybe I should stick to playing this song in countries where English is the first language or at least work on my Flemish…]

10. Mr Simm’s Olde Sweet Shoppe (Rights Reserved)
Without a doubt this is the song that people seemed to like the most from my live sets last year. Based on the topic of ‘someone who sells things’ because I wanted to write my own version of Tom Waits’ ‘Soldier’s Things’. This was written bang on deadline because I had spent most of the week trying to find a suitable subject matter. I eventually found the brown and gold Mr Simm’s on the Wednesday morning when I wrote half the song before researching the Simm’s family history which took the song in a… different direction…

16. Marvel
I was given the subject ‘The mundanity of work…’ to write about and I thought I would write about an astronaut bored on a space station (even spacemen gotta get bored sometimes…) I like the pulpy, 50’s Bowie thing on this track and Mark Simpson from the Happy Soul helped me out with some handclaps too.

21. Paint It By Numbers
The half realised collaboration between me and Mark from the last track was fully realised here with Mark’s tremendous Harry Nilsson-esque backing vocals. I played all the instruments (hence the ‘special’ timing to the drumming) before he added his magic. The topic I was given for this song was ‘A maths professor who can only express his love in mathematical theorem…’.

31. Eurelian Circles
This is an odd one. Written by the seat of my pants, I didn’t really think much of this until someone else told me they liked it. Seeing it from their perspective has caused me to since re-evaluate it. I like feel and the space in it. It’s a mood piece rather than one of my usual story songs. This has been something that’s pointing the way for my future writing.

37. Please Write Responsibly
Another collaboration with Mark Simpson (it’s funny how often it happens when you live close to each other). This is one of my stream of consciousness tales in which a story I write comes to life and terrorises first the town and then the world. Inspired by the response to couple of other songs I had written in the month before it where people had been offended or upset by my song subject matter. I am very much of the opinion that just because you *can* write anything that doesn’t mean you *should* write anything. Humans are humans wherever you go. However the damage had been done and this song was my apology.

39. Bee On A String
Another favourite from people who have spoken to me about this album. This track is about someone who traps a bee in a tupperware box and sticks them in the fridge to put them to sleep so they can tie a piece of thread onto their leg and take them for a walk. I actually knew someone who used to do this as a child (they were a child – don’t judge!). It was the first track I got to use my new Series II Omnichord George on.

41. RUExperienced [with Natalie McCool]
Natalie and I played a Manchester Sofar gig together and I discussed the idea of writing one of the ’52’ with her. She gamely agreed and I went over to Liverpool for a day of writing. She’s on guitar and vocals, I’m on Omnichord and vocals (George is getting a lot of use by this point).

43. Vadí Nevadí
This track is inspired by Daisies – the 1966 Czechoslovak film written and directed by Věra Chytilová. I watched it at a music hall in Aldgate in September. Would really like to get some violin on this track. Any gaps you might hear in the instrumentation here are definitely crying out for a violin part.

49. Merry Bloody Xmas
What do you know? I wrote a Xmas song. That I like. Inspired by blood sacrifices and orgies (the true meaning of Xmas). Writing and recording on a little Casio keyboard and using crappy drum machines was extremely enjoyable and has in fact been highly influential on how I am writing my next album.

Special mentions go to ‘The Man Without A Voice’ (strange as it is), ‘This House Has Eaten Us Alive’, ‘All My Old Lovers (Live On The Same Street Now)’, ‘A Year After The Party Died…’ and ‘Seven Veils’. Let me know if you have any favourites as I am still trying to figure out how to release this album or what form it will take. I hope you enjoy some of the ’52’ at least.

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Kept off the no. 8 spot by a Drive-In movie showing of The Nightmare Before Xmas...

Kept off the no. 8 spot by a Drive-In movie showing of The Nightmare Before Xmas…

This Thursday will be my last gig of 2014 before heading off to play in Australia. It’s on 18th December at The Art Of Tea on Barlow Moor Road in West Didsbury, Manchester with Gideon Conn and Kate Ashton Butler.

And those lovely folk at the Big Issue would tell you it’s the ninth best thing you could be doing this week in the whole of The North of England.

Tickets available for just £6 (and that ridiculous 60p booking/transaction/handling/scratchingyourbum fee so £6.60 really – sorry about that everyone!) from wegottickets here: http://www.wegottickets.com/event/292557

And here’s a Xmas song to get you in the festive mood too – this week’s ’52’ song is about blood, orgies and human sacrifice… you know… the real meaning of Xmas. Also it’s got a Casiotone MT100 all over it – the most Xmas instrument of all.

Anyway free/name-your-price Xmas download here:
https://richardlomax.bandcamp.com/track/merry-bloody-xmas