Drum Practice Samples – June 16th

I dunno whether there is any real point in sharing these…other than to have handy snippets for myself to log POTENTIAL progress. We’ll see…

The sample snippets are: me playing along to The Traveling Wilburys’ Handle With Care, some general practice incorporating hi hat pedal play and drum fills, and playing along to Make It Wit Chu by Queens Of The Stone Age – my crash plays are not inline with where the song’s crashes are. I was just trying to give myself ample practice. My cymbal playing and timing is diabolical…but there you go. I’m four months in…what do I expect?

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Promised You A Sweat In Bullet Miracle

You know what? Well, I was worried about why I had been blocked from the Decade 77-87 Facebook page. And I was genuinely scratching my head wondering why the hell it would be that I was. Then this evening, with a new share of a Simple Minds video compilation they had put together, I realised what potentially may have caused it.

Last year they shared a clip of Factory from Folllies – the Belgian music show. When they shared the clip, they made the claim it was exclusive to them. But it wasn’t. It appeared just a day or two before on YouTube, and they clearly had just copied it off from there. And I said as much. So…if that is their gripe and why I was blocked from their page? Meh! I just told the truth.

Subsequently, that clip WAS taken down from YT and only their clip of Factory remains. (As a superior colour clip. There still is the inferior black and white clip on YT) One could argue they had the last laugh.

So…tonight, this new clip from them shows up! One of SM on Get Set For Summer in 1982. Jim looking UBER lush and beautiful (no apologies for my ovary exploding fangirling tonight). There are two parts to the clip. Them doing Promised You A Miracle – which I had NEVER seen before, and a snippet of them doing Sweat In Bullet – which I had seen before, in appalling quality, on Daily Motion (Daily Motion really is NOT the place for clips these days!).

So, seeing as it had appeared on the Decade FB page, I thought “Oh, there must be an original source on YouTube. Let’s have a look.” Lo and behold, there it was! It had been up there for seven months already. Damn!

Anyway, here’s the original, full YouTube clip. Promised You A Miracle starts at around the 11 minute mark. I skipped through the rest of the clip, wondering if the bit of footage I saw of them being interviewed was in it too – the one where Jim pretends to whack Peter Powell on the head with the microphone (should have done it for real, Sir!). No such luck. Not that I saw anyway.

There’s a curious thing around the 25 minute mark. They are interviewing some head huncho at the Grandstand studio about some sporting event being broadcast and I SWEAR for all the world it’s Steve Coogan – more fittingly – Alan Partridge. Except Coogan is only 16 at the time of the airing of this show, so it CANNOT be him. But, the voice and mannerisms are unreal!

Just watch it! Shortly after it is the Sweat In Bullet snippet.

Enjoy!

New Warm Skin – GMack Remix

It’s taken me a few days to get around to listen to this. I like it. It’s very expertly done. But…I kept waiting for my fix of the chorus to arrive. At least just one time! And…the best part of Mick’s synths are taken away as a consequence, because they lay behind Jim’s vocal in the chorus.

As much as I liked it, they took away the best part of the tune for me.

I mean, duh…I love the verses too (Kerr lyricist uber fangirl that I am) – but for me – the hit…the melodic FIX comes from the chorus, and the fade out repetition of “Is this a war? Is the is a god?”

Maybe one day I’ll have a go at one of these remix things myself. Lol. As if I’d be any good!

Might have been fun to have mixed the demo version to the full recorded studio version. Mix up some of Jim’s rewritten lyrics. Just a thought…

Giving Yourself A Break While Fighting The Black Dog

This evening I played the recording of Saturday’s practice back. And, okay, yep. I do think I am probably being incredibly hard on myself.

But… I need to be don’t I? Otherwise how the fuck am I ever going to get any better? Yes?

But… I am so thankful I took the advice of Emily Dolan Davies (click on her name to be taken to her fab website A Drummer’s Guide To) – otherwise I’d believe week after week that I am playing far worse than I am. It ebbs and flows, obviously. On Saturday I was SUPER down on myself. Just felt completely fucked up.

But I really wasn’t as bad as I thought.
YES! I still had my moments. I really did struggle with my hi hat timing and rhythm this week…but…I need to learn to give myself a break.

What makes it harder is when, at the point you are having your kit practice, not only are you questioning why you continue to do it, but you are questioning the much grander thought and perplexity of the existence of the entire human race.

Actually, this week was odd. For once I didn’t actually find myself questioning why I was there practicing. I suppose I felt I had much bigger fish to fry this week. What would be the point of me questioning why I was at drumming practice when I was more preoccupied with pondering why I am even here on the planet at all! Why we’re all here.

I feel the only why to fight the black dog is to suppress his bark. Engage a metaphorical mute button. Put earplugs in to drown him out. When he looks his most vicious…just smile at him. It’s hard. You have to just snap the brain (and this is just my own personal way around it…and thankfully it works most of the time – if it ever fails, I am going to be in BIIIIG trouble!) into that mindset. No matter how delusional it may feel. And it does to me. 100%! I feel I am absolutely deluding myself to put it at the back of my mind and smile and carry on.

The other way that also works is..acceptance. There is no rhyme and reason to us being here. We just…are. So…for whatever way you live your life…however way you live through it…just do it. And just…strive to be the best version of you that you can be.

So…no more about THAT “black dog”…let’s have THIS Black Dog instead!

In Dreams We Are Helpless

I have been sleeping-in lately. Demanding dreams from my subconscious. Every night before I fall asleep, I pray that I’ll dream. Good dreams. Dreams that once awake and I have even just a fraction of lucidity of the dream, that it’ll turn to fruition.

This morning I had dreams.
In the first I was with Jim and Charlie. And we were sitting around, chatting and laughing. I cannot tell you how much I wish for that to be real! Or to continue to dream it over and over again every night.

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The other is a VERY rare occurrence (dreams of Jim – with or without Charlie – are rare enough these days). My mum. I couldn’t tell you the last time I dreamed of her. But this one will haunt me.

It was loaded with metaphor and symbolism. I had been contacted by what appeared to be government authorities and/or health professionals. She was meant to be in care…but she wasn’t. She was on her own in this remote, desolate place completely unfamiliar to me.

She was roaming around outside. I’m not sure how I was seeing this as I was, but these people were showing me video footage of her. Like…CCTV footage…but this place was so remote. Maybe it was being recorded from a drone? I don’t know. Certain things in dreams make no sense.

I digress. She was roaming around outside. Working. Walking around finding weeds and rubbish. She was carrying some kind of tool. Not a light thing. And she look as she did when I left in 2016. Thinner than I have ever seen her in my entire life. When I went home in 2015…I hadn’t seen her for eight years and she had became a shell of herself. I had never, ever seen her so thin. I don’t think she had been that thin since she was a child. The shock of it stunned me for days. It took days for me to get my head around this woman who looked like my mum but was waaaaay thinner than my mum had ever been was indeed my mum!

I digress again. These two people – a man and a woman – showing me her on the monitor (I sensed I was watching live footage, or very recent recorded footage…mere hours old) were saying “She won’t rest. She’s doing too much. She just wanders and wanders.” And I am sitting there thinking “habit of a lifetime, guys. She’s been like this since time immemorial. All the years I have known her.”

Even in 2015/16. Up and down like a yo-yo. Endless retorts of frustration from me “PLEASE SIT DOWN! I’M HERE NOW. PLEASE LET ME GET THAT FOR YOU!” Over and over. Every day. A person too used to being alone. Too used to just having to get up and do it herself. No one else there.

I’m watching her on the screen…and she just looks lost. Really lost. I’d never seen her look lost before. Determined. Focussed. Busy. Pre-occupied. Happy, even. But never lost. Never confused. Never unsure. Somehow still happy though.

Happy. But tired. And lost.
I awoke feeling further away from her than ever.

Limbo is hell.