Black Air and Seven Seas and Rotten Through, But What Can You Do (Join Greenpeace)

Not sure I’ve got the words quite right there, but as the title suggests, I’ve been on a bit of an English Beat jag, listening to their entire discography, but in particularly the two polar points of their career, ‘Mirror In The Bathroom’ and ‘Save It For Later’. I have even undertaken the task of learning to play the latter song on acoustic guitar, working out an arrangement I can play that sounds like the right elements of the song for me. I’m trying to learn it properly as well, but I’m not convinced that I can achieve both at once. David Wakeling already does a pretty nice acoustic take of the song on his own, and Pete Townshend and Dave Gilmour did a stellar cover of it using a more Townshend-like arrangement, so I know it can be done, but I’m not enough of a guitar player to really conquer the intricacies of the song, in or out of DADAAD tuning. I did an early demo of me banging away at a rough approximation that doesn’t really sound much like the song, which I posted on Vimeo:

Save It For Later (cover tune; rehearsal) from Lee Edward McIlmoyle on Vimeo.

I joked last year about starting a Progressive Ska band. I called it The Rhythm Assassins:
I meant it as a joke, but I tell you, there are days and days when I think this may have been my best off-the-cuff fake band idea of them all. I may have to actually try to put such an act together someday. I still don’t know precisely what it would sound like, but finding out sounds like a fun thing to do. I can be so deadly serious when it comes to music, I have to deliberately devise methods to make it fun for me.

I have SO much stuff to do right now. I have a newsletter to arrange (layout), ‘edit’ and draw (I’m doing my issue as a comic book). I have PB proposals to organize, research and write about. I have to house/dog sit for my uncle and aunt, as a somewhat distant relative died the other day. I have two more chapters of THE APPROXIMATE DISTANCE TO LIMBO to write to get the second act complete. I HAVE started planning the third act, but it’s too soon to tell if I’m going to publish the acts together or separately. I also really want to get back to work on PASSAGE TO BUJAH, which still sounds like a really good commercial/oddball idea, but I have to hurry because the whole dystopian YA thing may be overdone by now. I have almost no time to work on STEEP INCLINATIONS, but I’m still incubating how to resolve my problems with the album concept (mainly, I’m worried that it’s still a bit contrived sounding). And the Tarot painting series and the Stinson mural (which I didn’t get the gig for, but I have plans for it nonetheless) projects are languishing, watercolor paper and canvases piled up by my drawing table/easel. I really want to work on all of these things, but even I am only one man, much to my chagrin.

On the band front, Gary has been moved into the same building complex Derrick and I live in for just over a month now, and we’ve done absolutely no work. He’s already got a new girlfriend, so of course, he has no time for us. Derrick is waiting for us to get things together. I need money to buy a headphone amp for the three of us. I’m probably going to have to buy it myself, if and when i can. I want one that will allow me to tweak mixes for each player, so they can hear exactly what they need to hear to play right. I also want to make sure there is just enough space for perhaps one more musician, as I live in hope that, if we can’t get it together as a power trio, that we might at least find a lead guitarist or keyboard player who can carry some of the slack.

These old riffs I’m planning on reviving and reworking are a lot of fun to listen to once I get them cleaned up, even though they are FAR from polished enough for serious listening. Problem is, I have a workaround method for cleaning them up which takes time to do, and I haven’t had much of that. I particularly enjoy listening to Big Dave’s bass playing. He was such an underappreciated contributor to the band sound. I miss him.

Time to take the meds, get dressed, and choose a job to work on. Probably the news letter. Thank you for reading.


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