Monthly Archives: January 2017

The Future is NOW! oh no, wait, that’s the present. The Future is LATER!!!

It is a new year, soon to be old.   Some things change, some stay the same.  For example, my promise to use this blog more often has been broken….again.  And here I am, about to promise again!

But this time it’s for real!  (you know I often say that too, don’t you?)

Never mind.

Here’s the news for 2017!

The band that doesn’t exits, The Black Swans of Trespass, is playing an Australia Day (read: Invasion Day)  gig.  It’s a special one too.  It’s in the morning, and it will be all Australian songs with electric banjo, bass and drums.  And, curiously, no vocals.  In fact the condition of getting the gig was that there be no singing!   It’s like a belated xmas gift to me!  Because I freaking hate singing.

There’s something else I need to tell you too.

I have decided to follow through on at least one New years Resolution.  I have shaved my entire head, down to the skin.  This will be the last time I cut my hair or shave for 365 days.  At the end of this period, I will be asking folks to vote on whether I should keep my hair or not. it will cost $1 to vote, and I’ll be giving the money to a local Animal Sanctuary called Brightside.

This year I will also be running a radio program on Edge FM.  I’ll be submitting more details on this later, and using this blog primarily for song lists and various related info regarding the show.  It will be about folk music.  Stay tuned!!

There’s two more years of glorious academia in front of me and I am looking forward to it greatly.  But as of now I am in the January holding pattern.  So let’s take a moment to look back at what was achieved this year…..

FACEBOOK – I learned it is irredeemably evil, yet inevitable.  The problem is, the general population does not use anything else.  There is only FACEBOOK, and without it, you do not exist.
However, you cannot use facebook to promote anything.  For two reasons:

  1.  Facebook will not circulate into people’s feeds any events, unless you pay for them.
  2. Paying for an ad makes it spam and every one will ignore it anyway.

We DID use a paid Facebook ad, experimentally, this year.  It was a total failure.  Everyone at the gig had come by chance or word-of-mouth.  The ad itself was roundly ignored.  The event occurred on Dec 3, and Facebook is STILL trying to get me to fund the ad so it will have more…what is it?  Exposure?  Who the fuck knows.  Perhaps people will go to the gig retrospectively?  Time Travelers?  Will my memory of the gig change as time goes on or if I pay for the ad?  I am too poor to sate my curiosity in such matters.

HERITAGE FIDDLES – Joining the Tasmanian Heritage Fiddle Ensemble has definitely been a highlight of 2016.  It’s been great to meet the folks of the ensemble and we’ve made many new friends.  Also I’ve done a few really cool gigs with them.  Most recently at Cygnet, where I was caught by the ABC giving a banjo lesson:

Yes… I did warn you about the hair…..

Playing with the THFE has exposed me to the amazing richness of Tasmanian folk music and musicologically it’s been fascinating.  It’s also helping my sight reading.  I’m so bad at sight reading….

THE BLACK SWANS of TRESPASS – have risen again, however, my desire to gig is almost gone.  It’s just not worth the effort.  Somethings change, some stay the same.  The pub scene is still the same horrible experience.  Although, to be fair, it is pretty good here, compared to the rest of Australia.  MUCH better in fact, but it’s still pretty uninspiring.  And that’s kind of how I feel about gigging.  uninspired.
Meeting James Wheller, Alex Raw and Paul Sharp, (Keys, Drum & bass respectively,) has been great, and it was so good to actually play with talented, motivated guys again, who kind of, in their own way, pushed the band more than I did.  But getting on a stage to trot out the dog & pony show, to the same drunken bogan indifferent audience, it just  doesn’t leave me feeling good.  Even though i have loved playing with the guys immensely,  there’s a certain emptiness.  And then, there’s the money.  The vulgarities.   So much is expected of a band, but so little is returned.  I wish I could just show up and knock out crazy funky electric banjo music, and not have to deal with the venues, the punters, the bookers, the scene.   Some things change, some stay the same….

But all is not lost, there are some very interesting projects on the horizon…  naturally, I will keep you posted on those!

But first things first – let’s see if I can keep up some decent, consistent blogging here, with regular updates and various stories about comical capers  and odd perspectives.

May you have a happy holiday and your war on xmas be victorious and glorious.