Amphibic on American television, yeah baby!

Right, where was I? I left for Christmas and the whole family thing ensued. Saw nephews and nieces, ate way too much and managed to get a bit of musician-geek-DIY done. I re-surrected a mic which I had converted to a tube mic (courtesy of Dave Royer who published an article on this way back). In case you’d like to do the same follow the link. I had used a different mic back then and wasn’t that pleased by the result. But with too much time on my hands, and as luck would have it, an MXL2001 which is the mic that Dave had intended the circuit for, I ripped the circuit from the old mic and put it in the MXL. I finally got round and did some early testing of this mic yesterday and I have a feeling I’ll be using it quite a bit now (yes it sounds fantastic). Maybe I should mention that I’m a big fan of dynamic mics (simpler technology), especially the Sennheiser MD421 and the old Shure SM58. I also like lo-fi throwbacks like the Beyerdynamic M55. And I should add that it’s better to record than not to record, as what is happening in front of the mic is what really counts.

Okay, that’s enough geek-age. Just before the year was out, I was joined by someone dear to me and there was a big feast featuring wild boar that night. On the last day of the year we ended up on the roof terrace of my mate’s house which is fairly high up, we had given up the plan of driving to the top of a nearby hill, to see the fireworks mayhem that visits Germany every New Year’s eve. This is due to the fact that everyone can and will buy fireworks. We did hear the fire engines later that night, as there are always a few house fires and someone’s probably lost some part of their body and possibly their eye sight. On to happier news.

There were a few more days where I could chill and I managed to borrow a car to drive up to the Dutch border where Steven (at Haldern Pop) had been storing my old guitar case for my Strat (for about 4 years). Thanks Steven! I also picked up a last batch of CDs from them. Before I got to Haldern I drove past Ollie’s place to pick up my old VOX AC10 amp from about 1958. It’s tan and I bought it in London in 1993 or so, when it was in a terrible state. They are very rare and fetch more than a thousand US. Anyway, it was good to see Ollie, Steffie and their little one, Leo. We had a couple of beers in the evening and shared a coffee in the morning, then back on the road. Ollie gave me a Fender Tex Mex pickup which is now the twinkle in my brunette guitar’s eye.

Just before I came back an email reached me to tell me that the song Hungry Man, from our EP THERE WERE MILLIONS OF THEM, had made it onto American television. It was used in a show called ‘Switched at Birth’. I think the episode is called ‘Starry Night’. I will have to see whether I should offer this publisher a few more songs, or whether I should spread the wares over a couple of publishers? But I would like to keep some new songs back, in order not to run out of ammunition for publishers here. The company in the US specializes in TV and Film.

Anyway, back here now, have done three jobs. Met Atul at his musician’s meet up on Saturday, where I met Felix Macintosh who runs Tigersonic studios. Went to see the film ‘The Artist” on the weekend and that’s it. Will do some recording now…..

Days in the life of a songwriter 27

Just got last year’s diary out to see what I did just before Christmas 2011. It’s been so long. It’s slowly coming back to me now, diaries are a god-send.

Industrial folkster, Jordan Reyne, had tipped me off about a music industry party at the Water Rats on the 8th of December. I was glad I went, as Believe-in-Digital gave us a few free drinks and I checked out one band that I liked. They are called Belleruche. Then there was a carol singing thing at St Mary Aldermary’s, just opposite Mansion House tube, which was lovely, they had wine, mulled wine, mince pies, cake and candles and I was slightly concerned that the new vicar and his crew might be burning down the house (church). Anyway, well done to James for enticing us to come along. We got louder with each carol.

There was one more industry schmooze event at the Electricity Showroom, but apart from having about 2 and a half chats to as many people I didn’t get anything out of it, so left early. Almost on the home stretch to Christmas I told loads of people to come down to the Prince Alfred in Maida Vale on the 17th of Dec. I think about 12 did and believe most would agree that a good time was had. Just before I headed into Christmas hols, where I traditionally leave the country, a small present to myself arrived. A Proteus 2000 by EMU which was dirt cheap on fleabay. It’ll make it possible for us to have some fairly cool Rhodes type sounds (electric pianos for the un-initiated) on stage soon. The box can do a lot more but that’s more for recording at home….. Right, there will be another update tomorrow bringing us to the Here and Now……