Monthly Archives: September 2011

Forthcoming from FaceOmeter

I know you’ve been holding your hats for actual tangible FaceOmeter products ever since my last release well over two years ago (holy goodness). So in a hark back to how this blog used to work, here is a list of things I expect to come to fruition in the relatively-near future, some of which, doubtless, will not actually happen.
  • The Spooky EP – Now with a formal release date of Oct 27th, with a big London show and a couple of other smaller appearances in the pipeline, this is a five-song live-recorded (this coming weekend!) Hallowe’en themed production of songwriting trio Taplin, Tattersdill and Jones, of whom I am one. It is going to be terribly good.
  • Vibe, Drill and “It” – Another five-song EP, recorded with The Dapper Swindler, is briefly on-pause in order to finish Spooky. However, we’ve already recorded the essence of Five Figs Down and a couple of other old favourites. They still feel new to us, but we’re also adding some very new ideas to this record, which will be a studio multi-tracked affair with a very different feel from Spooky, hopefully out around the new year.
  • fOwl 16 – The sixteenth episode of the FaceOmeter Video Weblog, special-guest-starring Sam Taplin, will hopefully be out by the end of this month.
  • fOld 9 – My semi-infrequent local delicacies magazine show will return for a new outing at some point this Autumn – we have a great concept, but haven’t filmed it yet (I can hint at this stage that the location is London).
  • Summer of 2011 Emotional Nostalgia Reel – we’ve been working on a very emotionally-charged video project all through the summer, which will be online as promotional material leading up to the release of Vibe, Drill and “It”, whenever that is.
  • Poetry – Rather gag-inducingly, I continue to consolidate something which may one day become a short collection of poems. This is a long while away yet, but a constant background-project.
  • Storytelling – As described in an earlier post, I’m starting to get more cerebral about the role of the storyteller and what the relationship this thing has with music might consist of. This is bringing my work-work to bear on my artistic-work, which is very interesting! It kicks off with a “show” at Railroad this weekend, described in an earlier post.
  • Prose – It is my intention to publish some kind of non-academic prose writing within the next five years. This is the most long-term of my long-term projects but it certainly won’t be unrelated to my musical ditherings and I have a few ideas bubbling away already. Stay tuned. And patient.
  • Concerts – As soon as Spooky yields more demo material, I’m going to be playing a lot more shows, especially in London but hopefully elsewhere too! Get in touch if you have a venue you’d like to see me/us at…
  • Songs – I currently have a long list of stuff I’m not-quite writing, but there are some interesting ideas in there I very much hope. I feel stupid enough to provide some hints: ‘About Time’, a co-Dapper-Swindler rap-like thing over mellow chords which may be on Vibe, Drill and “It”; a song about the place the Swindler and I went to school – a very serious subject for us with a riff which will melt your face (and which I’m daring to try and write in author first-person); ‘Muscle Memory’, a hip-hop influenced thing about playing old songs; ‘A Rat; Paris’, a tale of French automotive misadventure which I’ve been desperately trying to finish for more than four years; ‘The Singular Tale of Sally the Tumbleweed’, extravagant romantic adventure story possibly co-starring the redoubtable James Bell; ‘Radcliffe, Triumphant’, song version of the story of the unexpected return of my stolen bike (see this blog); my first attempt at an outright balls-to-the-wind political protest song (hold onto your, er, balls); and several others! If I ever get ten minutes to write (and don’t spend them writing this list instead of actually writing the songs), then some of them might appear during-
  • Fort Clonque – A writers’ retreat at which I expect to be challenged in a numer of ways (not just financial) on the island of Aldernay in early October. A bunch of twelve(ish) of us are heading over – we’re all writers, and we’re going to see what we can share about the creative process (although I also plan to spend a lot of time locked in an attic or sitting on a fort wall writing things alone). A full report of that, obviously, will be on here when I get back. All of the above is presumably leading up to the eventual (late 2012?) appearance of-
  • Why Wait for Failure? – The second FaceOmeter record is something of a chimera at the moment. Whilst the first record was highly (and gloriously) collaborative, I think the second one will be a much more solo affair, with only a couple of tracks featuring other artists. I’m undecided yet about how to go about recording it – feel that the bedroom microphone-box will probably be involved, despite our recent baptism into the world of very expensive recording studios. Song-wise, it will certainly feature ‘Okay, So That Happened’, ‘Thomas A. Edison’s Bright Idea’, ‘One for the Windowbox’ and ‘Life in the Slow Lane’, although it’s clear to me that the ‘big ones’ for this record haven’t been written yet (and, perhaps, can’t be until I have the mess of the two more immediate EPs behind me). 2012 is the ideal for this, but as with To Infinitives Split I won’t be releasing it until I’m convinced it’s good enough.  

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A Challenge

With the days flying by at preposterous speed, and so few of them given over to the production of incredible art, I nonetheless feel good about the art right now. This is because the few things I’m doing – the fast-track production of a live-recorded (ie. not-multitrack) EP, the kinds of new songs I’m attempting to write, a couple of moves forward in poetry and prose stuff alongside the songs, a few academic-y things on the side – represent genuine moves away from the comfort zone of “what I would normally do”, which is difficult, and which I will probably get wrong, but is nonetheless a constructive breath of fresh air.I’ll tell you about the new songs some other time (I’m nervous about committing to an idea before it’s written on here, lest I find this entry in years to come and realise how few of my life-targets I actually achieve), but there’s one comfort zone killer that I can share right now, which is my role in a session at Railroad this coming Saturday.

Railroad will be a whole year old on Saturday, which is a thought – in that year, I don’t think I’ve played a show anywhere else in London (New Year’s Resolution #1 – more live shows) – and one good thing about hosting the weekly Open Mic there is that it’s made me less anxious about performing covers and even the odd poem live. Saturday, though, I’m taking this to the next level by getting involved with a storytelling workshop-showcase thing presided over by Wilf Merttens and organised by Jamie “The Magic Lantern” Doe.

When Jamie asked me to be involved, I assumed that he meant in a sort of audience way – as a kind of workshop thingy. When it slowly became apparent that I was going to have a more sort of “support slot”, I was terrified, but then over the next few days I started having ideas and realised it might be a really good thing to try – not just telling stories, but actually talking a bit in public about how I approach writing them, how I think they work, why we all need to do it, that sort of thing.

So Saturday won’t be a FaceOmeter gig really, although I will play a couple of tunes to make a point or two – what it will be is me explaining a bit of the FaceOmeter ethos and perhaps debuting some prose and poetry stuff of my own as well! I’m scared of it, but it might be fun. What is more certain is that Wilf, a professional in these matters, and Jamie, a man of distinction (and/or real big spender) in his own right, will make the night worth coming to even if I suck. So please do come along. Railroad in Hackney Central from 8:30pm; �4/3 in; facebook event here.

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