I follow the blog of drummer Benny Horowitz and on reading his last post I found it soothing. He speaks of how obsessed he was (maybe a little too obsessed) with sports stats when he was growing up and still is now. I relate to that so I'm happy that I'm not alone in this nerdism. Ive always been fascinated by stats, not just in football and other English sports but its probably part of my interest in American leagues such as NBA and MLB. They love their stats over the pond. Goals, assists, shooting percentage etc its interesting watching it accumulate over a season whether its real life or even on a video game. Not that Wayne Rooney's been accumulating too many this season but hopefully his goals against Aston Villa are sign of things to come.
Heres an interesting article that I found this week of an interview with Brian Fallon. He's talking about how he writes songs and puts them together, what he uses for inspiration, the use of imagery etc. He does make it sound so easy, whereas its not something that comes naturally to me. I must have written about thirty songs now (not all of them good) but less than half of these came naturally and were written in one sitting. And he says he heard his guitarist play the intro riff to "Great Expectations" and he went off and wrote it in 5 minutes. I wish I could churn out great songs like that so quickly. If you're interested in what he had to say about songwriting, have a read.
Having said that I'm working on a couple of songs of my own at the moment. One is a kind of Springsteen inspired, based on my visit to the Jersey shore about 18 months ago and the other is a little closer to home. Its based around the whole Northern Soul era in Wigan from the early 80's and late 70's. I've always heard stories from many sources of how big it was for people of my parents generation. The great dancers, the music, the staying out until 8am and going to Wigan baths to refresh. Its old but it seemed like a pretty cool scene back then and I can't help but think it sounds more fun than the average night on Wigan's King Street. My song is predictably about a guy and a girl. She goes out to Wigan Casino each week partying all night while he stays in playing his guitar and listening to his favourite singer/ songwriters. In the end he knows that to get anywhere with her he needs to go out too. His last chance is on the closing night of Wigan Casino, one last chance to be out with his girl before the era comes to an end. I also want to capture how sad it must have been to know it was the last night ever at Wigan Casino after all the great memories people seem to have of it, how sad must it have been to see it all end. I tend to like my storytelling songs which I guess is inspired by Bruce Springsteen's style. He's my biggest influence but I wish I could use imagery more in my songs, similar to the way Brian Fallon describes in the above interview. If you can paint pictures like that and your stories are able to fit into them I think its an awesome skill to have. Like I said though, it doesn't always come easy. Hopefully when I finish the song I'll put it up on my You Tube page and share it. My most recent video was a cover of Brian Fallon's "Tin Pan Alley". A bit of a rarity taken from his Split 7" with Chuck Ragan but its a great song that I really wanted to cover. Please check it out at the link below.
Another idea Ive got for a song at the moment is a little bit of a different approach. Theres a really great poem by Walter de La Mare called "The Listeners" The poet creates such an eerie image of The Traveller alone in the forest in the dead of night, theres a real atmosphere to the poem and sometimes I think thats all songwriting is, poetry with music put to it. I thought I'd like to turn this poem into a song. Maybe thats cheating a bit but I'm interested to see how it comes out. Its a short poem and its worth a read. Again, check the link below.
So as usual theres lots of musical stuff going on upstairs right now. Lots of music I'm looking forward to as well. The Horrible Crowes first and foremost, hopefully Fallon will produce this new material before the end of the year, Augustana have their new self titled album out in April, R.E.M have their "Collapse into now" album out in March and 3 Doors Down have their new record out soon. My song of the blog this time round is Augustana's new song, the first single off their new album and its called "Steal Your Heart" If you've any sense you will give this band a listen.