Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I'm a fanny... Here's a poem.

I can see from my window the bench where we sat. Passing the time with endless chit chat.
The closest of friends, before we were lovers. That friendship remained while embraced under covers.

You'll struggle to find a stronger connection. I fell for your heart and beauty perfection.
Your dazzling wit, your kindness and charm. I was lucky to briefly have you on my arm.

Sometimes I'm afraid of what you might say. The truths you'll reveal as you pull away.
The pain that I feel is an acceptable cost, if someday you reclaim the love that you lost.

I know that it's over, as heartache has called. But I pray it's not final, just currently stalled.
Your silence is awful, for ever I fear. But my love is eternal, be it weeks, months or years.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I've Lost That Twitter Feeling

It seems that I have been struggling with Twitter lately. As the lovely Mr @diaryofaledger once put it, for which I abused him endlessly, I may have lost my Twitter Mojo.

Now, this isn't a case of, as seems to happen with a lot of other people, me deciding that Twitter is getting in the way of my work/love life, or that I got in trouble for using it, or that some episode on Twitter has angered or offended me... No, none of that. In fact, I still love Twitter, and spend quite a lot of time on it. I am just unable to think of anything worth tweeting... Those familiar with my tweets may be thinking "that's nothing new though Davie"... and if you are thinking that, I will laugh at you sarcastically and then twist your nipple.

My tweets have never been contrived, or overly thought out in the past. The majority of them have just been my natural reaction to something that has just happened in my life, something that I have seen on telly or heard on the radio, something that I have read on Twitter, or a sudden unexpected memory. I have never sat there trying to think of a joke, or set out to do something thinking "this may result in some good Twitter material". But now I find myself just reading everyones tweets, laughing to myself, responding to my @replies, and unable to think of anything original to tweet. So I don't tweet anything. And not much gets RT'd. And my follower numbers stay pretty level. Some people say "it shouldn't be about the numbers", and maybe they are right, but that is how I first noticed I had "lost my mojo".... The numbers stopped going up. This isn't a problem for me at all, I really don't mind... It just happens to be how I first noticed this.

At the same time as all this has happened, things in my personal life have taken a turn for the better. I have met someone, and although it is early days, things are going well and I'm excited about the future. A recent review in work was really positive, and I am due to take some steps to continue improving my working life. I have had an application accepted for a really nice flat on a marina, much smarter than my current flat, with gorgeous views. So things are going well.

Maybe this is the reason I'm not getting much out of Twitter these days. I find myself on Twitter less and less over the weekend as I wander endlessly around BLOODY SHOPS, or snuggle up in front of a film. I am on it less and less in work as I try and actually get stuff done. But that shouldn't affect my ability to comment on my day to day life in an extremely hilarious way... Should it?

But yet it does. It seems to me that the happier I get, the less I have to say. My creativity seems to be linked to my misery. I think my sense of humour tends to be quite dark, and at times self-depreciating. I have no problems with being crude and a bit risky with my comments, and of making light of my loneliness. That has worked for me over the past year... The year where I was dumped and subsequently took time off from stupid smelly girls. But as I get happier, I want to maintain a positive outlook on life, rather than take the piss out of myself. I want to rein back the crude comments in order to trick the person I like into believing I'm a nice person. When I do all that, it doesn't leave me with much to say.

This isn't an issue though... In fact, I don't even know why I'm writing about it. When it comes down to it, I have found someone that wants to kiss my face, and that is all I care about.

So I won't be leaving Twitter or anything... But I also won't lock myself in a dark room and struggle to think of anything worth Tweeting. I will chat to people, and when something pops up in this old noggin of mine, I will post it.

I may also start tweeting Celebrities and posting pictures of cats. That seems fun.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Day I Met Rhod Gilbert

On Saturday, I was walking through the streets of Cardiff City Centre with a lady friend of mine. It had been a nice day up until then... A lovely day in fact, but pretty ordinary. We had wandered around some shops, we had bought some clothes. We had looked at expensive TV's, and I had even consumed a panini. But we hadn't seen any celebrities.

This was about to change.

At around 6pm we started to make our way from the Prince of Wales pub, where I was being rewarded for my tactile behaviour in TopShop with a nice cold pint of beer, towards the cinema. To get there we chose a route that brought us past the new John Lewis. Their muffins are very expensive, but delicious. I discovered this on a previous trip to Cardiff. Don't let this distract you from this exciting story.

As we were walking past a shop (I can't remember what shop it was, but I will guess at Starbucks as I have a 70% chance of being right), a couple were walking towards us. The man seemed to be looking directly into my eyes, as if to catch my attention. Coupling this with the fact that I seemed to recognise him, I assumed that I knew him some how, and that he knew me.

This is the face that confronted me. Imagine this face, not above a naked body in a bath, but above a fully clothed, walking, mans body. There may or may not have been grapes, I can't remember.

This man was still looking directly into my eyes, and we were now within a few steps of each other. I definitely recognised this man, and therefore must acknowledge this somehow. Just as I began to raise my head in the most informal of greetings - the casual inverted nod, the gentleman's gaze slipped away with a bored indifference. It was at this very moment that I realised I only knew this man from the telly... I didn't know him from real life!

Just imagine what might have happened if I had completed my nod while staring directly into his eyes. This man may have been affronted by my assumed familiarity. This comedian, famed for his long, laborious rants over minor annoyances, may well have made me the subject of his next Christmas DVD. I can see it now: "Rhod Gilbert and the Strange Man Who Dared To Casually Nod His Head At Me While Walking In Cardiff". I would have been the laughing stock of people that watch his DVD's.

And then he was past me... I could breathe again. I said to my lady friend "that was Rhod Gilbert" and she turned round, and saw the back of his head, and told all of her friends later that night, blissfully unaware as to how close we had come to verbal mutilation.

We then watched Unknown and shared some Pringles and M&M's.

That is the story about how I met Rhod Gilbert... And when I say 'met', I of course mean 'saw'... But that doesn't sound as good.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Tw1tter Band Project - The Trial

Last Friday was a pretty manic evening, but very rewarding. Old @WH1SKS had decided to escape from the harsh realities of his working life, or lack thereof, by diving head first into a cyber-music project. He details these events here, but I felt like writing a few words on the subject.

Mr WH1SKS came up with the idea of seeing if a number of relative strangers could create a piece of music together over the Internet. So on Friday he decided to run a trial... he called for musicians, vocalists, and sound engineers, and the idea was to see if, by 9pm, we could have a not too horrible version of a song recorded.

A lot of people got involved... we had a producer, a bassist, a drummer, a guitarist, a lead guitarist, a man on the keys, a mandolinist (mandoliner?) and, the crowning glory, an extremely talented, and modest, lead singer (me).

When WH1SKS was asking if I would sing on his Maggie May cover, at around 3pm as I was getting ready to leave work, I nearly declined. He wanted this to be completed in 6 hours, I had never used my recording equipment or the website we were using to upload our tracks, and I was barely familiar with the song. Actually, if I'm honest, I knew the first 2 lines of the song by heart, but had never listened any further than that. He used a combination of guilt, pressure, and the word 'prick' to get me to agree. He also promised me fame and fortune.

So I downloaded the song and listened to it on repeat all the way home. I blew the dust off my laptop and mic, and set up a nice little recording area in the flat.

I spent most of the evening practicing the vocals and getting to know the song while everyone else was putting the many elements of the song together. Recording my part was actually a fairly simple process, once I had figured out what the hell I was doing.

The producer uploaded a click track, a bass line was recorded and mixed with this. The guitarist used this to record his part, and was then added to the mix. I whacked my headphones on, and sang a long to this bass/drum/guitar track, listened to it back, was fairly happy, and clicked "upload". I thought about doing a few takes, but by this point I had sung through Maggie May about 20 times and think the people in the flat upstairs were ready to overflow their bath just to get back at me. So it was one take, done.

We had a rough track put together at the 9pm deadline, but it was a bit choppy, so I will link instead to the version that was finished 12 hours later once the keyboard, lead guitar and live drum track were added. I was quite proud of the result:

Maggie twitband mix-with organ by PaulBlackburnCompositions

Even though I didn't eat for 9 hours, got a pounding headache, and stood up a group of friends in the pub, I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience on Friday night. My friends are pricks anyway, so that didn't really bother me... The lack of food was the real sacrifice that WH1SKS is going to have to repay. It also gave me the kick up the arse I needed to finally use all that recording equipment I had bought on impulse exactly a year before.

But what I really gained from the experience is a child-like sense of wonder at what can be achieved, relatively easily, using modern technologies and human talent. I find it incredible that a small group of strangers can put together a song while sat in their living rooms many hundreds of miles apart.

The next stage of this "Tw1tter Band Project" is for everyone to practice their parts, re-record, tighten everything up, and get it sounding as perfect as possible. I'm not sure what will be done with it then, but I know I will keep the track for ever, proud of what we have accomplished.

Once we know how to do it, and the results are good, I imagine that WH1SKS has plans for us to release a song, go on Top of the Tops, get Number 1 after Number 1, take over the world, record Spice Girls: The Movie Part 2, become addicted to drugs, enter rehab, enter Katie Price, split up, re-form, and die. You've got to have dreams.