Hold up. Wait a minute…

Didja spot the omission? Probably not, you’re busy with your lives and everything. It’s my job to keep on top of this, not yours.

Turns out I forgot to post photos and a studio report for Flotsam & Jetsam, which has, at this point, been out for exactly 2 months, and was recorded in June. I’ve gone into the dangers of trying to recall details after the event before, but we’ll give this a go for posterity.

The first thing to note is that this song is nearly double the length of previous offerings. Practically, it did make things tricky. You can do half as many takes, and there’s twice as much work to be done in editing and mixing.

A few years ago strangeday did some work on this song. I’ve been keen to do something with it for a while now, as I’m quite pleased with the feel and lyrics. It transpired that Ally was available for this studio date, and I decided that we could go for Flotsam & Jetsam as he’d written the bassline. Aaron had written some splendid guitar parts for the strangeday version, so I asked him to come and reprise those as well as adding a fair bit to them.

The day progressed reasonably well. We tracked the drums in the live room, rather than in the studio room, to get a bigger feel. This did mean a slightly more involved set up process. We then got Ally’s bass parts down, followed by acoustic and electric from me. At this point, it was clear that the timeframes were slipping from what we’d hoped. By the time we moved on to vocals it was clear we weren’t going to fit Aaron’s guitar parts. He’d turned up, but was pretty sanguine about coming back another day.

We set aside another morning, which also turned out to be village day, and sporadically raining. I wasn’t able to be there the whole time, so I got to hear the final parts subsequently as Paul provided mixes. And I was well pleased!

I think that’s about all I have to say about that for now.

We’ll talk soon.

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Once upon a time we recorded But That’s Just Me…

Did I ever tell you about the time we went and recorded the eighth song in the whole of 2016? Sit tight, I’m gonna.

You might have noticed over the last few months there’s been more ‘featuring’ type songs going on. Well. Two. Anyway, Paul was asking if I’d ever consider letting someone else sing the whole of a Pedestrian zero song. Then I saw a video of Paul busting out some banging vocals on the internet and I rather thought he might have a point.

This song seemed like a great fit. It also seemed like a great time to get in my other strangeday bandmate, AJ, to play some guitar. And oh he did.

The final two players in this great drama are Ant Martin, who is fast becoming a pø stalwart, and Cec Harding, returning for the first pedze track since January.

In terms of a recording day it panned out much as they do these days. Not obscenely early start; drum set up; drum recording; drum pack down; quick drum comp; Ant turns up with snacks (although El had also bought us bacon rolls from Dolly’s Diner); bass recording; overlap with next musician turning up; debate about whether to sneak in acoustic or have lunch; lunch; vocals; hastily improvised backing vocals.

It’s a great time, honestly.

All I ended up doing in the end was acoustic guitar and some ooh/ahh backing vocals in the chorus. Which was very nice. Seeing everyone else make their mark on the track was very gratifying.

And that’s about that really. Great times. Track should be out soonish. In the meantime enjoy a couple of images and a couple of videos in lieu of the photos I didn’t manage to take.

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Lyrics – But That’s Just Me…

Man, am I ever behind. We were in the studio for September’s track this weekend past and here I’m posting lyrics for August’s recording. Gosh. Well. We’ll get there. At some point. The track that got recorded in August is a chirpy, almost country-like rock song about being in a relationship.

It’s (for the most part) not autobiographical – as you’d hope. I made up a couple and wrote about them. It’s currently being mastered, so hopefully you’ll be able to hear it relatively soon.

But That’s Just Me…

Stake your claim I don’t want to be
Another stain on your destiny
Was never gonna be a tragedy
I don’t think things through like I ought to
But that’s just me

The weather’s fine think it’s gonna be
A perfect day in your memory
Wipe the slate retain your sanity
I don’t take my time like I’m told to
But that’s just me

Say what you like say it’s all for the best I don’t think you understand me
Let’s do what we like without regard for the mess always room to move to plan b
Well that’s you and that’s me
It’s just how it’s gonna be
But it’s a crazy ride and I like it

I bet you think you got a bead on me
You got a theory on the mystery
It’s not because I don’t like honesty
I just like you beating round the wrong bush
Yeah but that’s just me
That’s just me
But that’s just me
oh that’s just me

Say what you like say it’s all for the best I don’t think you understand me
Let’s do what we like without regard for the mess always room to move to plan b
Well that’s you and that’s me
It’s just how it’s gonna be
But it’s a crazy ride and I like it

You and me we’re climbing up the walls together
running round and round but you know I think
It’s gonna take just a little more time for us to figure this out

Catching up

Well gosh it’s been a busy old time. Not all with music unfortunately. Although I’m well aware that we’re overdue a couple of tracks at this point.

Worry ye not. They’re in the pipeline. Someone Else’s Problem is currently being mastered and will drop any day now. I also have an instrumental version of that, that I’m working out what to do with.

And then we were in the studio a few weeks ago to record But That’s Just Me… This will be the first Pedestrian zero single featuring someone else on lead vocals the whole way through. That’s a bit different, but I’m liking it.

I’ll be popping back with some lyrics for that and some studio pictures for both.

Then next week Roo’s Radio are back in the studio. And the funny thing there is we’re not actually sure what we’re doing yet. So I should get on that.

We’ll talk soon.

Lyrics – Someone Else’s Problem

Hey hey campers.

I’m getting a little out of sorts. Or at least out of order. But one thing I know, I usually post lyrics to the next song around the same time that we go and record the thing. And one thing I did not do with this song is post the lyrics around the same time that we went and recorded the thing.

So here they are. I guess it could seem like I’m getting a little, er, preachy. Honestly it’s just timing. Once again I wrote this a few years ago. But now seemed to be a good time to release it. I decided to add a middle eight and wrote this in what felt like not enough time. I think I like it, but time will tell.

You don’t need me to tell you this is self-explanatory, so I won’t. Oh wait, I did. Bother. What I will say is that this song kind of comes out of me mishearing a lyric in Sadako by 3dBs Down. Anyways, here y’go:

Someone Else’s Problem
Without wishing to get too heavy-handed
I’d like to suggest that the boat in which we’ve all just been landed
Is listing quite badly to port or to starboard
I never really took the time to learn to tell them apart
Oh, but that’s not the point I digress
It’d probably be a good idea to lend a hand with this mess
If that’s not too inconvenient
Let’s hope when we get to the root of it the problem is easy to mend.
Without starting again

Hold up – do you mind?
You’re demanding this of me
When I know my rights
And I won’t be left behind
We’ll all stand in line
To get all that we deserve
Why not change your mind?
Why not take the other side?

So here’s what I’m wanting to say
It’s been said so many times that I think it might just be a cliché
If there’s one thing you could try
You should try being somebody else, and if you do in reply
They might have a quick go at being you
Perhaps when you’re back cutting slack might not be so hard to do
Can I say it again?
Not that it’s likely to help it’s always someone else’s problem
Maybe I’m spent

If you can sit there in the trappings of your comfortable life
And still surround yourself with hatred and bitterness
If you can’t muster just the smallest spark of empathy
And still think only about what you can get for yourself
Then it’s not someone else’s problem

The dog Tired studio times

I think the easiest thing is going to be to keep everything in the correct chronological order. Otherwise I’m going to have trouble working out what on earth is going on. Should you be curious though, Flotsam & Jetsam is still very much on the way, and we’ve actually been in to record next month’s release as well. All progressing well.

So this post harks back 2 months ish now. I never posted a studio report for dog Tired. So here it is.

Personnel for this one were: Paul West – drummist and backing singist, Ant Martin – basser, Jack Lewis – electric guitarer and lead singist, Toby Hawkins – acoustic guitarer and lead singist.

This is the first time I’ve deigned (haha) to share the actual lead vocals on a pØ track. I enjoyed it. I’ll be doing it more often.

This was a very reasonable day’s work. Relying a bit on memory now, but I believe the drums were in already, so we laid down some tight grooves quick smart. Bit spoilt having Paul really. He’s very quickly able to get into the spirit of whatever’s on offer from month to month.

Mr Martin was up next, bringing a bag of treats as is his wont. He also brought a big bag of bass. It’s such a delight watching people turn up and bring their own flavour to all of these dumb songs I write. I particularly enjoyed the big slappy bits. Oh yes.

Jack turned up just in time to overlap with Ant, which was nice, and I was next up, recording the acoustic. I can’t remember if I’ve said this before, but I’m feeling pretty confident with recording in general, but especially playing acoustic rhythm guitar.

Then it was Jack’s turn to do some electric. I had to run off to do some errand, I forget what, but came back to find Paul and Jack writing/working out the chorus riff. But where Jack really shone was the improvisation stuff. In particular, his improvised solo after the middle eight was a first take wonder. We tried for another take, but it wasn’t worth it as the first was just so good.

Then the vocals. I went first, then Jack. There was a little bit of fun working out one of my more obscure timings but other than that everything was very smooth and sounded wonderful.

And this time you don’t have to take my word for it. You can listen and judge for yourself! Class.

I am also able to report that the non-standard capitalisation of the song title aggravated at least 50% of the musicians involved. So there’s that.

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Lyrics – Flotsam & jetsam

Everything’s gone a bit out of sync, but as it turns out, that’s probably better. Usually I post lyrics for the next song either just before or just after going into the studio. Then it’s not so long a wait until the music follows. But this month’s song is a bit of a 7 minute beast, and we weren’t able to complete the recording portion until last Saturday. The editing and mixing are getting there I think, but there’s still a little bit of a wait to go.

But since you want to know, we went into the studio on 18 June to record a song that I’ve been looking forward to doing something with for a while, Flotsam & jetsam.

As with a few songs I’ve released recently, this was written around 2012. Unlike most songs I release this is something of a story. Imagine, if you will, a future where it starts raining. And just doesn’t stop. The song is written from the point of view of those living through that. It’s about dealing with the fallout where you didn’t plan ahead. Or believe that the worst could come to pass.

It’s probably equal parts metaphor and literal. I hope we don’t screw up the climate to the point where we look back and shake our heads at our greed and carelessness. I hope we don’t screw up civilisation to the point where we look back and shake our heads at our greed and carelessness. As a species we don’t have a particularly good record on either point. But I hope.

Musician-wise, I was able to scrounge up 3/4 of Roo’s Radio, but not a full complement. So Paul plays drums, Ally plays bass and Claire is singing lead vocals on the verses, which worked really nicely. A long time ago we toyed with this song as strangeday – and I’m not ruling out a strangeday version in the future – and Aaron was mucking about with some really nice atmospheric guitar. I couldn’t hear the song without this addition, so I duly enlisted his services.

And the results so far are sounding pretty huge. Given the number of partial plays for normal length songs, I don’t hold out huge hopes that it’s going to fare better, but we’re pretty pleased with it.

Here’s the lyrics for posterity and what not.

Flotsam & jetsam
Doesn’t seem so long ago
The sky turned black; the thunder rolled
And then the wind began to blow
And the heavens opened

We never thought to build to last
Nor dreamed that it could come to pass
Lowland turns to floodplain fast
It may be senseless hoping

Dull as dirt the rising tide
It’s perilous to step outside
Face the day, refuse to cry
Our bitterness but a token

But we sit and watch the waters rise
Turn and face the rain filled skies

Drag our feet, remember when
A summer’s day could feel like ten
There used to be a wound to mend
Now there’s nothing left unbroken

And now I sit on my back step
and watch the waters rise
And now I sit, head in hands
and watch the waters rise