Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Let's get the band back together!

Whad up, Homies?

You heard me. We are getting the band back together!

Let me explain. Many, many years ago my brothers and I started a band. I played guitar, my oldest brother played keyboard and did lead vocals. My next oldest brother played drums and/or bass and also did lead and backing vocals. My younger brothers played lead guitar and drums and sang backing vocals. Did I mention I played guitar? I'm not the best singer in the world and according to DW that will only change if I am the last person in the world. My brothers acknowledged my desire to sing by providing me with a microphone, and acknowledged my ability to sing by not plugging it in. I wasn't exactly the backbone of the band. Like they say, "its more important to have fun than to be good," which became my motto.

Well, despite my lack of actual talent, as a whole we were generally pretty rubbish but we had a lot of fun. At one point we decided to try to get serious and try to lift the overall tone. This resulted in each of us being replaced by actual musicians until it seemed wrong to call it "our" band, as none of us were in it. So the dust settled, mostly on the guitar case under my bed. I decided then I would get some guitar lessons so that if we ever got the band back together I would be ready to do my bit. I considered getting singing lessons but DW suggested that should focus my efforts on something I had a chance of being good at.

That was over twenty years ago and the call has gone out, "Let's get the band back together!" Obviously I haven't had a single lesson in that time, but I did make a few phone calls and decided formal lessons were not for me. I played guitar at our last family Christmas gathering and was keenly reminded how useful guitar lessons would have been.

It might sound like I am a complete hack when it comes to the ol' six strings, but to be fair, I was just as bad with four (I tried playing bass for a while - the theory that limiting the strings might limit the damage. This was a logical consequence of my playing a twelve string guitar once. I've even tried playing just on the one string, which technical cannot be out of tune with itself - and yet...). There is one song that DW does like me to play. Its very quiet and she likes me to be a fair way off but she always comes back in the room after I've finished and says it was lovely. She also says that its good for couples to support each others' creative needs and that support can be just as valid from a distance. It's like she doesn't want me anywhere near her wool when she is knitting and I can show my support by sitting in another room.

Anyway, twenty years or so after our band disbanded, we are going to have another crack. Not at stardom, as we are under no illusions that we will be any good, but rather, just a chance to get together and have some fun, because at the very least, we a very good at that. In fact, in the past, all of our songs ended in fits of laughter that usually lasted longer than the songs themselves. But to our credit, no matter how badly we butchered a song, we always struck up and had a go at another one. After we stopped laughing that is.

However, we are now older and, well wiser may not be quite right, but we are older. And I hear you can now get sheet music for songs so we may try that. I also expect that we won't play as loud so it will be less of a competition to be heard. And I may get some lessons. Who knows, I may have improved - you know, sometimes having some time away from a problem can help you see the solution more clearly. Perhaps music is like that. I know that you can't just put an instrument down and pick it up twenty years later and hope to be just as good - though that may be true in my case. I like to think of the last twenty years of listening to music as research so I think I've learned a thing or two. Surely one of those songs will have stuck. Anyway, I'm now ready to put it into practice. But first I've been putting off getting the guitar out from under the bed because it is covered in dust and you know how bad my hayfever is. I'll let you know how our first rehearsal goes.


Thought for the Day: A timely disclaimer can save your life

Disclaimer: DW is actually wonderfully supportive of my music and loves to hear me play. She doesn't like me to ruin it by singing.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Welcome to 2011!

Yep, I'm back.

After reading back over my sister's blog of her family's recent travels, I decided to put pen to paper, put pen and paper away, put keys to keyboard and restart my blog. Much like the current trend of calling movie remakes "reboots", I shall be rebooting this blog and you can already see the major changes. Yes, I've added the title field. I could have done it long ago, I know, but I didn't because I wanted to save it for something special. Then I realized that was stupid and turned it on a few minutes ago.

I still have thoughts so I will be continuing my "Thought for the Day" but I make no guarantees that they will make any more sense than my previous thoughts. In fact, it is highly unlikely as they will be coming from the same head and out through the same fingers, but I do have a new keyboard so we'll just see.

I have not found much time for writing of any sort over the last year or so but I hope to make amends for that. I've been asked to write a technology review blog for work and that also inspired me to get back to some of my own writing.

So, on to my opinion of the world at the moment. At the moment the sky is blue - well, blue-ish as my window is rather dirty. I should mention that I'm in an office on the third floor and my window is sealed shut so I take no responsibility for the state of my window. Yet it does affect how I see the world. At least the sky isn't grey-ish with streaks of dirt like it was yesterday.

Politicians are still jerks, but then so is everyone else. Footballers have recently taken offense at being told that they aren't necessarily the best role models in the world, to which they replied "Go *$%# yourself, you $%@#%ing $%@#$!!". Ben Elton's new show "Live from Planet Earth" is apparently deader than its title but no-one is game to tell Ben so it's on again tonight, and George Negus has promised to tell us more about less.

There are some TV shows which I think could find new life if they combined with other shows. For instance, perhaps we could combine "Masterchef" with "The Biggest Loser", and produce "The Biggest Masterchef". I'd watch "NCIS: Summer Bay". We could put Eddie Maguire and the "Hot Seat" in "The Cube" and have him try to guess the lyrics from popular songs of the Baby Boomer, Generation X and Gen-Y eras. How about "Good New Specks" where Adam, Myf and Allan attempt to beat Paul, Mikey and Claire at "Wipe Out"? Every week.

So I think I'll leave it there before someone gets hurt and look out my streaky window again at the streaky sky. Maybe next time I'll give a Princess and Little Man update.


Thought for the Day: I don't HAVE to explain myself, but I probably shouldn't rule it out.