That thing you do

You know that thing?

That thing you do. That thing that makes you feel the way you always feel. That thing that you want to change, yet somehow don’t get around to changing.

That thing that makes you go out and find a web meme, perhaps an inspiring quote, some role model’s latest energizing exploit, which you post to your Facebook wall so that people know that you know you need to focus on that thing.

To persuade yourself that you really are the sort of person who could focus on that thing.

You know… that thing.

Right now.

In this moment.

What are you doing differently, to make sure you don’t do that thing you do?

Love-peace-trust,

Vince Sig 131x89

I told you so

Well, it looks like another boy band has lost a founding member.

Puts me in mind of Jay, the Empire Records A&R guy in Karaoke Criminals:

“Three bands, one night. Easy, compared to normal. He was getting off light. If he hadn’t had the boy band – ‘N-TaPrize!’ – on the way through, he’d be more active.

But he had.

So he wasn’t.

They were made to measure, career already mapped: three singles, a hit album, first pre-pubescent tour, fainting teenage girls, two more singles, self-written songs, internecine rivalry, second tour and a final, musical-differences fuelled split followed by solo careers for Dave and Billy and drug dependency for Ralph; a period drying out at the Priory, closely followed by a tour of regional theatres.

The money was close enough to in the bank already.

Ah well, soul-destroying as it was, at least it wasn’t panto. Not yet.”

Not to say I told you so or anything :)

Love-peace-trust,

Vince Sig 131x89

I’m sorry, I just wasn’t feeling it

As those following along at home know, I’ve been consciously rebuilding my guitar playing from the ground up for the past 18 months or so. It’s been a really enjoyable voyage of discovery, with many a-ha! moments

[both in finding new things, and in finding out the background to things I’d done intuitively for decades]

and not without its frustrations; the decision to just go back to what I’ve always done has floated close several times.

In that same period, our little Wednesday night shindig – Common Ground Open Mic – has gone from strength-to-strength, providing me with a route to practice what I’ve been learning, and put its feet to the fire in real-world improvisational challenges.

On balance, these have gone well – In my estimation, I’m batting at about a 60% average. I’ve received some quite lovely compliments, one last week on how I didn’t just wail away at the high end of the board, but phrased things all the way along the neck

[music to my ears]

Then a night like last night happens.  I don’t know what it was, but I just wasn’t feeling it. It’s hard to tell what is cause and what is symptom: the tempo of songs, the genre of songs, the sound from my amp, the guitar I was playing – did they break me from the moment, or in breaking from the moment, did I just notice them more.

Maybe none of the above, maybe all of the above.

I felt like a grab-bag of techniques and licks, randomly thrown into incoherent sentences. I missed strings. I repeated myself.

I hate these moments, when a stranger is playing through me, a stranger who seems to want to use a guitar in a way that I never would want to.

Maybe it’s all yin-and-yang – good balancing the bad – maybe it’s all just the pain of learning, maybe it’s the universe telling me not to bother.

Hmmm, that last sentence emerged without me really thinking about it. Any artist will tell you about the moments where giving up dances tantalisingly close, where the internal critic’s voice

[often mis-attributed to the audience]

gets louder, and ever-more persistent.

But I’m not buying it. I had an off night, that’s all. I’m sorry I couldn’t bring myself into the space to which I aspire, and sometimes achieve. I’m sorry that I didn’t find transcendence in music. I’m sorry to the musicians who asked me to help them fly

[and hope I didn’t prove to be a lead weight]

I’m sorry, sure, but not enough to quit.

I had a bad night.

I’m sorry, I just wasn’t feeling it.

Love-peace-trust,

Vince Sig 131x89

Old songs: Truth Told

Listen to all Old Songs

Truth Told was written around 1991, and is possibly the most bitter song I’ve ever written.

Musically, the song was spurred on by those three discordant chords that repeat throughout the verse – chords that have gone on to be used in several songs since – it’s essentially a blues progression, though difficult to tell on first listen. Lots of drone strings, mainly because I was in the depths of my broken hand days.

Lyrically, I know who and what it’s written about. You don’t

[and it’s likely you’ll guess very, very wrong :) ]

Truth Told – Vincent Tuckwood

This is what your pressure
feels like to me
This is how it feels
when you press your point home
when you give me all these questions
you have no right to ask
when you tell me of your demands
and rules, oh God your rules!

I  made no promises
I took no oaths
I didn’t really want you
just the physical release
I knew it temporary
I should have lied this time
I should have walked out long ago
One year soon flew by

Now I’ve got to open
my thoughts to you
and let you know the truth
of how I’ve come
to hate everything you do
how even the sound of your laughter
makes me want to be brutal
how even your smile
be brutal, hit you, be brutal

You, you should know
you mean nothing to me
my love’s a show
You, you need to realize
it’s easy, oh so easy for me
to despise you
it’s easy to despise you

Old Songs: A Small Release

Listen to all Old Songs

Here’s another very early song, unlikely to be recorded formally.

A Small Release was written during a chemistry lecture, the morning after a particularly heavy night out

[as always, my song-writing/story-telling self pushing against the conformist]

Everyone needs a good hangover song, and I guess this is mine. The particular scent trigger provided the jumping off point for my endless question of “why?”

A Small Release – Vincent Tuckwood

this hangover cure
is a small release
but brief
It’s all I can do
to walk away
from the memory
of just how much
the holes in me
you filled with smiles
laughter your aide
with me not at me
you turned away
you walk
with someone else
your eyes are theirs
to gaze in as I did
but brief
but no more
you’re gone

and my piss smelled of beer this morning
because last night
I drank you
out of my head

Old songs: Together

Listen to all Old Songs

While I work on the new record, which will include a number of brand new tunes, as well as proper versions of several demos, I’ve found myself warming up on the acoustic, singing old, old songs of mine.

As with Grope, it’s interesting to sing these now, a quarter of a century after they were written; my head, heart, soul and fingers are different, and find interesting spaces in each song.

That said, I know these songs for what they are: early sketches from my song-writing self. For this reason, they’ll likely never end up formally recorded for release. So I decided to capture them on iPhone and share them here

[under the Monkey68 name, so as not to confuse things]

First up, Together. This was originally a poem

[which now makes up the chorus/refrain]

to which I added verses for you and I context. Together is pretty much my manifesto for the heart, and my offering to the world.

Musically, the song was in a much higher key originally

[which may have been due to my younger larynx, though to be honest, it was hard to sing even at the time]

but bringing it down to this key helps me sing it more fully.  As with many of the songs from that time, Together also sees me playing with major/minor shifts – an aspect of my song-writing that still shows up today.

Together – Vincent Tuckwood

So you’ve come around
Asking if I can help you
pick up the pieces
Remains of you
lying shattered
on the ground
Let’s put you back together

So I hit the ground
and I reach out
Desperation
Will I find you there?
My hand made strong
by your own
Lifted up I stand
Take my place beside you
We’re together

And the small, small people
who attempt to rule your life
They have no right
They have no right
So let us just ignore them
They’ll turn around
when they realise
they’ve lost the fight
And you will stand up proud
and find your life is turned around
I will be beside you
I’ll offer you a hand
Together we will stand
arranged against the clouds
We’ll fight the coming storm
and find an end to torment
Just you and I
Just you and I
Together

Time to catch up

If you’ve ever wanted to catch-up on my novels and CDs, now is the best time to do so!

For the next two weeks, the combo pack (4 novels/2 CDs) will be priced at just $50 – buying the items individually would cost in the region of $130!

This offer is only available at my Bandcamp merchandise page.

Love-peace-trust,

Vince Sig 131x89

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