Dragontears – Turn On Tune In Fuck Off!!

dragonteasr

Because literally everything is merely coincidence and chance, it logically follows that there is no such thing as causality.

I first discovered Dragontears back in 2010. I’d just had my then current PC for recording music die on me, and had a 9 month period without any means of recording music as the PC that was available laboured mightily with just the merest of tasks, and it was often all I could do to persuade it to let me at least surf the net a bit whilst I listened to music.

Just for the record, the album I’d just finished was Luna Takes Asylum.

During the last few weeks I’ve found myself listening to Dragontears’ three albums again, and remarking on just how bloody wonderful they are. I even found myself wondering what made me forget these albums even existed; it must be a good 6 or 7 years since I’ve listened to them. I realise that this sort of thing happens, I mean, how can it not when you have a sizeable collection of music and yet you still go looking for more? But still, this re-visit has this music really resonating with me this time, probably more so than when I first discovered them.

Just for the record, Luna Takes Asylum is now the album I wish it was back in 2010.

So the other two Dragontears albums are 2000 Micrograms From Home (below) and Tambourine Freak Machine. I cannot recommend them enough.

dragonteasr2

 

One Dog Clapping – Luna Takes Asylum (The Lunatics Return)

Luna bandcamp front

So, once I finished that series I did last year, I did, as promised, put my guitar down for a bit and listen to some music other people made. But I also had sessions of listening to my archive, probably for reasons of vanity but using the excuse that I wanted to hear it to get a feel of the context of what I’d done. And one thing happened quite soon – I was listening to Are You Hanging Comfortably? from this here album here, and I was getting annoyed by it. This had always been my least favourite album, largely because it was the last of the trio of albums I’ve since come to think of as the slapdash 3, and I was going through a period of self-doubt at the time I originally finished it which will also have coloured my perception of it. But as I listened to and got annoyed by the aforementioned track, what was bugging me the most was that I thought it was a decent tune thoroughly hidden in bad recording and production. ‘Well then,’ said an all-too familiar and frequent thing I’ve come to call That Bloody Voice In My Head That Always Thinks It Bloody Knows Best, Usually When Saying I Bloody Told You So, ‘why don’t you re-record it?’

Aaaand one thing led to another and here we are.

I haven’t spent all year on it; I’ve actually concentrated on new stuff seeing as I had a guitar in my hand anyway. But I decided to lean into the Mercury Retrograde periods by focussing on this during those, and those of you who know about such things will note that one has indeed just passed, and this timing isn’t a coincidence. Well, it is, but it’s more than just the coincidence of two things happening at a similar time.

For those of you who may have heard the original, this is different in ways more than just re-recording it. The opener on the original was called Lance, Speak, Deafening. Well, Lance… met and married a song I’d only ever recorded on 4 track in the 90s called 1000 Howling Devils and they had a child and that child now opens the album. Also, the original track two just wasn’t satisfying me anymore. I therefore replaced it with a song that was not only written contemporaneously but is also coherent thematically with the album. The rest of the songs are as they were, with some or more lyrical revisions.

I’ve also done something I haven’t done before by putting a nominal charge on the album, though each track does come with its own artwork now; the lyrics decorated with my inimitable doodles, and then inverted in some program or other. I’m going to add such things to my other albums over time, so if you want those others while they’re still Name Your Price, get in there now.

It is not beyond the realms that I may update one or two other albums during future Merc-Rets. However, the next thing I’ll put out, and it may even be this year but if not will certainly be early in the next, will probably be called Influx Arena.

Finally, I am incredibly and unimaginably indebted once again to my friend Chris Hall who helped me with Tech just as a typically merc-ret thing happened and my PC went dead when I was very nearly finished with this. Thanks again, Chris!

a quick advert

Bit like you used to see in music shops. Who knows, maybe you still do? Maybe I should go a-wandering.

SO, my old tub thumping comrade in the Itto got in touch with me recently suggesting that I do something with the One Dog Clapping band again because he wanted to be the drummer in such a thing.

To that end, if you play bass, guitar or keyboards and are around the Leicester area, do get in touch if you feel like you’d enjoy playing some of this stuff.

Alternatively, if you know people, or do more social media than I, do feel free to spread the word.

As you were!

 

One Dog Clapping – Glitterheads on the Loose!

glitterheads front extra snale

Glitterheads on the Loose! is the fifth and final instalment in the Meeting the Changing Landscape series I’ve been bombarding you with this year. I’m going to have a bit of break from all of this shenanigans for a bit and listen to some music made by other people for a while.

But first, for those interested, this is what it’s kind of been about. Bear in mind that the descriptions below are radically simplistic because that’s what happens when you have to use words for 4D concepts. I make no apologies for jumping between first and other persons willy nilly.

To give some context, I drew you all a picture:

meeting the changing landscape

Aren’t I nice?

The picture didn’t turn out quite how I intended – I had more of a kind of 3D spiral in mind but had to give it up when my lack of ability at drawing actual things made the futility of the effort all too apparent. So I went for more of a directional thing. But when I say directional, I don’t mean linear. This was not a linear thing.

The Castle is Burning is in the north. The north is associated with cold, restrictions, a harsh mistress, so it is naturally the obvious place for a burning castle.

Hills to Die On are naturally in the east. I shouldn’t have to explain that one.

Alternarratives are in the south. This actually works on several levels (hence why I wanted a spiral) but for the purposes of trying to make this seem a bit easier, these are the foundations and they are also a damn sight warmer.

Internal Route Fury has to be in the west, the land of death.

Glitterheads are on the loose above all of those places, and link them all together. They are both all of the preceding stories and something altogether more different.

The way I got to be a Glitterhead was by examining the Burning Castle for what it was, discerning it and not judging it, examining how I was reacting to the landscape it provides. It is quite one thing to say that this is what I don’t want, however, so I had to ask – what do I want? Hills to Die On were and are the answer. The tl;dr summary is that on those Hills you will find love, authenticity, your true voice, and the courage to express all of those things regardless of how you’ll look since the person you ultimately have to answer to is yourself.

To get to those Hills, I needed an alternative narrative, a better story – some Alternarratives. They have to take into context of where you are so that where you are going makes more sense, and most importantly, helps you want to buy into the journey.

There’s a reason we ain’t on them Hills, however. So I had to take these Alternarratives into the void where my demons lay waiting – they are actually rather active demons and don’t need much prodding; nonetheless, I felt that I had to take the fight to them this time.

This was the Internal Route Fury. In truth, this has been going on the whole time. I think it’s a feature of the human condition, rather than a bug. But if you can’t test your Alternarratives here, they ain’t worth telling.

Come out the other side, my friend, and you are invincible. You are a Glitterhead and you can be set loose. This does not mean perpetual gravy, far from it. You will still have to operate in a Burning Castle for the duration whilst you navigate towards your Hills, but you have Alternarratives and you can survive the Internal Route Fury. Of course I don’t mean literal invincibility, I mean fundamental invincibility. Bodies may come and go, but we will continue.

Any further questions should be sent by the ghost or on a broomstick, to meet me here at sunset when the tide has washed away. But don’t think you’re alone here. You’re a piece, not a fragment.

I offer this story and this series to Saraswati in perpetual and ongoing thanks for the continued flow of music through me.

One Dog Clapping – Internal Route Fury

IRF front cover1600

Madness!

In many ways, but not all.

So I attempted linearity… actually, scratch that. I did no such thing. What I meant was that I attempted to make sense, but again, it’s just possible that I actually did no such thing.

So what happens when you purposefully take yourself through the void? Internal Route Fury, that’s what. You have to test these Alternarratives against your demons, after all, otherwise they’re a waste of words.

There is actually an overarching plan to all this. And if you believe that, you might just believe that it’s me that’s behind it. And one or more of those statements may only be a half truth at best.

The final instalment in this series will probably be called Glitterheads on the Loose! Because, ladles and gentlespoons, that is exactly what we are.

One Dog Clapping – Alternarratives

alternarratives3 front cover.jpg

It is 9/9/18, and 9.09 pm (BST) when I click the publish button on Bandcamp. We have entered the time of the new moon. Fittingly, I have ‘Ritual‘ by Fire! Orchestra playing.

Alternarratives is the third album in the ‘Meeting The Changing Landscape’ Series, and the halfway point. It is about, broadly speaking, telling ourselves better stories so that we can head towards the Hills to Die On.

The next album in the series takes a turn back into the void as these better stories wrestle with the demons that would have them remain unspoken, and will be called Internal Route Fury.

 

One Dog Clapping – Hills to Die On

hillsfrontcover1600.jpg

I could write a whole essay, nay dissertation, on the travails of getting this thing over the line due to PC breakdowns, temporary patches, surprise findings of old pcs in a cupboard, etc. I’m not going to, as it would be of very limited interest.

So this is the yin to The Castle is Burning!‘s yang, or vice versa, I’ve currently forgotten which one is which. I call this my positive album, whereby we find the pockets of light in the darkness that are worth living for, and thus also dying for. The tl;dr summary is: love, authenticity, dreams, banishing fear, and variations on those themes.

Once I’ve adapted to changed settings (for which credit and huge thanks go to my friend Chris Hall), I will get on with the next in the series, which will be Alternarratives.